Thursday, April 11, 2024

Water Win for Southern New Mexico!

Court Ruling Protects San Augustin Plains Groundwater from Out-of-State Water Grab

Reserve, NM —On Friday, April 5, Judge Roscoe Woods of the 7th Judicial District ruled from the bench that the New Mexico State Engineer was correct in denying Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) LLC’s application to mine and hoard tens of thousands of gallons per year of San Augustin Plains groundwater. 

The judge’s decision was based on the fact that the application is speculative—ruling that APR failed to demonstrate an imperative need for the groundwater exists and failed to show that APR would be able to put the water to any beneficial use—a requirement under the New Mexico State Constitution. 

In a standing-room-only courtroom, a hundred community members heard the arguments of several attorneys awaiting a ruling on APR’s request to pump 54,000 acre feet per year of groundwater from San Augustin Plains, a closed basin (all water that falls in the basin stays in the basin) in southern New Mexico which will not be recharged by perennial streams.

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