On August 1st, the State Engineer denied Augustin Plains Ranch’s application to withdraw more than 17 billion gallons of groundwater annually from its property near Datil, NM. The State Engineer accepted two motions for summary judgement, one from our clients and one from the Catron County Board of County Commissioners, represented by the Domenici Law Firm.
Water can make unexpected alliances. Since 2007, and across three applications by the Ranch, there have been close to 1,000 protestants, bringing together environmental groups, ranchers, and farmers in Catron and Socorro counties. This has been a critically important fight for these communities. A bad decision would have set a precedent that could dry up rural communities throughout New Mexico.
The Ranch has 30 days to appeal; until then, we won’t know if this decision is the final word or not.
This decision received a lot of press coverage:
Aug 4th – Laura Paskus’ story in the New Mexico Political Report
Aug 5th – Los Alamos Daily Post
Aug 6th – Albuquerque Journal – and our Letter to the Editor
Aug 7th – Santa Fe New Mexican
Aug 9th – El Defensor Chieftain (Socorro)