May 2017

“Planning for a Secure Water Future Means Everyone is at the Table”

The New Mexico Water Dialogue’s 23rd Annual Conference


Lucy Moore


New Mexico has been officially “water planning” for the past 30 years, ever since legislators in El Paso tried to reach across the border and help themselves to New Mexico groundwater. The battle was decided in court, and the judge said that New Mexico could deny El Paso’s permit to take our water only if we could prove that we needed every drop for ourselves. This inspired the state to establish a process for a state water plan that would shut the door on thirsty neighbors.


The state water plan would be More >

Water Newsbites – May 2017


Mixed Messages on New Mexico’s Water Supplies

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials say that because of above-average mountain snowpack along the Colorado-New Mexico border, this summer farmers and cities along New Mexico’s Río Grande river system, including the Río Chama, can expect a full allotment of water. They cautioned that their forecast, which was also based on soil moisture and climate predictions, is a guess and that things can change.


The Sangre de Cristos near Santa Fe, the Pecos River Basin and other mountains farther south have had below-average snowpack due to a hot, dry March and “flash drought.” Months of More >

Next Generation Water Summit

 June 4-6 in Santa Fe


Seth Roffman



Water is the true limit to growth in the Southwest. Buildings must become radically more water efficient. New tools and regulatory models have been developed, allowing us to do this now. – Kim Shanahan, executive officer, SFAHBA


Making our communities sustainable in the long term given predicted drops in renewable surface water flows, and resilient to short -term and long-term impacts from the effects of climate change, are critical issues across the southwestern United States, as well as many other regions around the world. — Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives



The Santa Fe Home Builders Association, More >

An Introduction to the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS®)


Mike Collignon


The use of analytics, modeling and metrics is increasing, whether it’s in advertising, sports or social media. Now it’s making its way into the construction industry. In the energy-efficiency world, there is the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) and the Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score (HES). Water efficiency now has a performance-based metric: The Water Efficiency Rating Score, or WERS®.


What is WERS®?

WERS® is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water-efficiency and water-resource management. WERS® is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater, greywater, stormwater More >

Next Generation Green Building Codes: Modeled Performance


Katherine Mortimer


In 2009 the City of Santa Fe adopted a green building code for new single-family residences. The code addressed building energy use, water conservation, greenhouse gases embedded in building materials, indoor air quality, lot design and homeowner education. Recently, the city, in consultation with the local building community, adopted a major change in the code focused more specifically on energy, water and indoor air quality, using three performance standards. 


The big (good) news is…there’s no more checklist! Most green building programs use a checklist of items in a range of topic areas. The process of collecting cut sheets and More >

What Water Is Right?


Doug Pushard


Water, water everywhere, but what is right for me? With water we do have lots of choices and not all are created equal. You are probably wondering what I am talking about. What choices, what water?


Of course there is city water that most of us utilize abundantly. But we also have rainwater, greywater and blackwater. All of these are potential sources of water that could be used to drive our net water use to zero or better; helping us to become a net producer of water.


Each one of these waters has different characteristics that make it well suited for More >

Profile of the Santa Fe Watershed Association on its 20th Anniversary


Kristina G. Fisher


With education, stewardship, advocacy and on-the-ground restoration, the Santa Fe Watershed Association has worked tirelessly since 1997 to protect and restore the health and vibrancy of the Santa Fe River and its watershed for the benefit of people and the environment. 


When the river comes to life with flowing water each spring, it is thanks in part to SFWA’s advocacy of the 2012 “Santa Fe River Target Flow for a Living River” ordinance, which made Santa Fe the first city in New Mexico to set aside water to provide for annual river flows. For over 15 years, the SFWA More >

Journey Santa Fe’s 10 Years of Weekly Community Dialogues


Seth Roffman


JourneySantaFe was created to offer a platform to all sectors of the community and to provide ideas and information “that can effect change and solutions for the greater good.” Since 2007, JSF has offered weekly presentations by notable people who are engaged in environmental, social, cultural, political and policy issues that impact Santa Fe and New Mexico. Journey’s events take place every Sunday at 11 a.m. for about an hour, at Collected Works bookstore. The dialogues are usually moderated by author/entrepreneur Alan Webber or former KSFR News Director Bill Dupuy. The events are recorded by Geoff Cheshire and broadcast More >

Acequia Madre Spring Cleaning


Phillip Bové


Every year at this time, cleaning the Acequia Madre is paramount on our minds. As the mayordomo used to say, “It is the first priority.” To the old people, it was time to sacar (clean out) the waterways. I like to hear stories of the old parciantes (water-rights owners), like the time there was a fish in the acequia, escaped from the reservoirs; or when they would wait for St. John’s Feast day, when everyone would enjoy the water. Making dams to trap the water was fun. They weren’t deep enough to swim in; only to wade in ankle-deep. We More >

OP-ED / The President’s Budget and Executive Order Rolling Back the Clean Water Rule

What They Mean for New Mexico


Rachel Conn



Water is precious in New Mexico. Without it, our way of life is threatened and our communities suffer.


On Feb. 28, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Rule, also known as the Waters of the U.S. Rule. This order reverses years of work to ensure that New Mexicans have clean water needed for drinking, irrigating and recreating. The order directs the EPA’s director, Scott Pruitt, to initiate the lengthy legal process of rescinding and rewriting the rule. This could take years. This order and More >

OP-ED / The Counterculture: A Great Underground


Jack Loeffler


Jack Kerouac referred to it as the subterraneans in his novel of that name. Gary Snyder traces it back in time as the great underground. Asha Greer refers to it as the marginaux. Theodore Roszak dubbed it the counterculture in 1969. I think of it as a great stream of interwoven cultures of practice of resistance and creative alternatives to a mainstream culture whose hierarchy are defined by economic status, white supremacy, and politics governed by corporate mandate. The Civil Rights Movement, Black Panther Movement, Women’s Liberation Movement, Gay Liberation Movement, Psychedelic Movement, Chicano Movement, American Indian Movement, Back-to-the More >

Newsbites – May 2017


Water Case Moves Forward

Aquifer Science is wholly owned by two shell corporations, one of which is a subsidiary of Vidler Water Co., a major water developer in the western U.S. The company proposed a luxury resort/subdivision north of Sandia Park, but the project has been dormant (with the exception of the water rights fight) for more than a decade. The companies have spent more than $5 million to date to obtain the water rights, which could be sold to a third party if granted.

The residents are represented by the nonprofit New Mexico Environmental Law Center. NMELC asked the court to More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – May 2017


May 4, 11:30 am–1 pm

Water as Destiny Series

Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second St. NW

“Exploring the Nexus between Water & Economic Development.” 2nd luncheon in a series on regional water innovations. Speaker: John Freisinger, president, Technology Ventures Corp. $50/$30/$25. Presented by Urban Land Institute-NM.


May 7–10

Governor’s Conference on Hospitality and Tourism

ABQ Convention Center

Presentations, panel discussions and demonstrations related to hotel & tourism sales, tourism/product development, operations management, hotel & tourism marketing. $229–$429. Presented by the NM Hospitality Assn.


May 10, 9–10:30 am

Agricultural Collaborative

MRCOG Office, 809 Copper NW

Monthly meeting of citizens, growers, farmers, producers, food processors, buyers, representatives from agencies & organizations. 505.247.1750,, More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – May 2017


May 3, 9, 13, 20

Sustainable Santa Fe Community Conversations

Help SF become a thriving green city and leader in caring for our environment, economy and each other. Learn about the ongoing development of SF’s 25-year Sustainability Plan. Share your ideas and creative solutions. 5/3 and 5/9, 5:30–7:30 pm. Intro by Mayor Javier Gonzales. 5/3: Genoveva Chávez Center, 3221 Rodeo Rd; 5/9: Hotel SF, 1501 Paseo de Peralta; May 13, 1–3 pm: Southside Library, 6599 Jaguar Dr; May 20, 2–4 pm: Chainbreaker, 1515 5th St. Food, refreshments, childcare, bilingual services provided.


May 5, 4:30–6:30

Climate and Social Justice Poster Contest

SF Community College

High More >

What’s Going On? – Taos – May 2017


May 4, 9 am–4 pm

Taos Land and Water Conference

Sagebrush Inn and Conference Center

Dialogue with local experts, practitioners and community members. Keynote by Dr. Sylvia Rodríguez. Panel presentations on climate change, innovation in agriculture and more. Sponsored by Taos Land Trust, Amigos Bravos, NMSU Taos Cooperative Extension Services and Alianza AgriCultura de Taos. $15 includes lunch. Students free.


May 30–Sept. 29

Earth Bag Building Workshop

Learn to build a sustainable, affordable, off-grid solar home.


Third Weds. Monthly

Taos Entrepreneurial Network

Taos County Courthouse Mural Room, Taos Plaza

Networking, presentations and discussion. Free.


Farmer-to-Farmer Training

Taos County and Española Valley

Learn to be an organic acequia farmer. The NM Acequia More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – May 2017


May 6–7

Zuni Pueblo MainStreet Festival

Zuni Pueblo, NM

5th annual celebration of local businesses and artists. Presentations, traditional dancers, carnival.


May 16-18

Recycling Facility Operators Course

ABQ, Carlsbad, Ratón, Silver City, NM

The NM Environment Dept. Solid Waste Bureau, in partnership with the NM Recycling Coalition, hosts two recycling and two compost facility operators certification courses each year.


May 2017–July 2018

New Mexico Agricultural Leadership Program

NM State University, Las Cruces

Designed for men and women in the early stages of leadership careers in agriculture, food and natural resources. Participants meet 8 times over 15 months including 6 in-state seminars and in Washington, D.C. 575.646.6691,,


May 29–Aug. More >