April 27, 2023

by John Larson, El Defensor Chieftain

The late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater once said a man from the West will fight over three things: water, women and gold, “and usually in that order.”

In 2023, Goldwater’s words still ring true, especially in Socorro and Caton counties, as the 16-year fight over the San Agustin Aquifer continues.

One of the players in that fight, the San Augustin Water Coalition, is sponsoring a 5K Run/1 Mile Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, May 6, to raise money to help with legal fees to help prevent Augustin Plains Ranch LLC (APR) from mining water from the aquifer beneath the San Agustin Plains, west of Magdalena.

The San Augustin Water Coalition was formed by ranchers and property owners in western Socorro and eastern Catron counties in 2007, soon after APR published its request for permits to drill 37 wells to pump 54,000 acre-feet from the aquifer every year. …

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