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01-06-1999G J LOWER RIO GRANDE WATER USERS ORGANIZATION MINUTES January 6, 1999 The Lower Rio Grande Water Users Organization met at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 6,1999, at 200 N. Church St., Las Cruces, NM. LRGWUO Board Members Present: Chairperson Ruben Smith, City of Las Cruces Gary Esslinger, EBID Gilbert Bartlett, Village of Hatch Cesario Alvillar, Town of Mesilla Dr. Tom Bahr, Director, WRRI, NMSU LRGWUO Board Members Absent: Pat Banegas, Anthony NM Tony Schaefer, Dona Ana County Others Present: Jesus Nava, City of Las Cruces Robert Monday, City of Las Cruces Clay Dillman, Town of Mesilla Ken Needham, Parson's Engineering Len Stokes, PES Mayor Smith called the meeting to order at 1:34 p.m. Mayor Smith stated that he was amending the agenda to provide Mr. Stokes the opportunity to give a legislative update as the first item of business. 1) Legislative Update, Len Stokes Mr. Stokes stated that the City of Las Cruces would introduce a bill extending the water lease period from ten to forty years. He added that the bill apparently has broad -based support and should have no trouble passing. The City of Albuquerque intends to introduce a bill, which enables entities to store water in ground aquifers to use later without returning the water to public domain. He stated that most concerns have been mitigated at present. This bill would most immediately benefit the Albuquerque and Alamogordo areas and the Las Cruces area sometime in the future. An Albuquerque senator and representative are sponsoring a bill to create a separate branch of government to administer water resources. v LRGWUO Minutes January 6, 1999 Page 2 of 4 Mr. Stokes fielded questions. 2) Approval of Minutes of October 13, 1998 IE The minutes of October 13, 1998 were reviewed and approved as presented. VOTE: Dr. Tom Bahr, AYE; Cesario Alvillar, AYE; Gilbert Bartlett, AYE; Gary Esslinger, AYE. The motion passed. 3) Dona Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association Mr. De La O of Dona Ana Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association was introduced. Mayor Smith stated that the DAMDWCA was requesting to be included as a voting member of the Lower Rio Grande Water Users' Organization. Discussion followed with Mr. Nava stating that the Organization must amend the Joint Powers Agreement if other entities are to be included. The Organization reached consensus agreement to ask DAMDWCA to act as representative for all the Mutual Domestics in Dona Ana County. Mr. De La O will approach the members of Dona Ana County Mutual Domestics Water Alliance in an attempt to ascertain if this is indeed their desire. If so, Mr. De La O will provide letters from each entity stating their agreement with being represented by Mr. De La O. Mayor Smith tabled this item pending further action by Mr. De La O and the Dona Ana County Mutual Domestics Water Alliance. 4) Salinity Flow Study, Dr. Tom Bahr Dr. Bahr stated that $150,000 of State money was currently encumbered and must be used by June 30, 1999. The US Geological Society is using the money for a long term salinity monitoring study but nothing has been finalized as to the scope of the work. Any effective study will require a long -term commitment in order to determine the source of the salinity. 5) NM /TX Water Commission Update Dr. Bahr and Mr. Esslinger informed the Organization that the NM /TX Water Commission has retained a consulting firm to do the environmental impact study on the project. The study consists of a series of water diversion alternatives that are being considered. The study will eventually narrow down a location for water diversion from the Rio Grande to water treatment plants in both Texas and New Mexico. LRGWUO Minutes January 6, 1999 Page 3 of 4 A stream flow and water quality model developed by Boyle Engineering is being used to test the different alternatives for the various diversion points and water treatment plant sites. Dr. Bahr and Mr. Esslinger reported that Mr. Gomez of the NM Office of Space Commercialization did an environmental impact statement on a site in the Jornada area for the proposed spaceport. This report stated that the Spaceport would require approximately two thousand acre /feet of water per year. Spaceport representatives had voiced their desire to connect to the system supported by the NM /TX Water Commission. Mr. Esslinger stated that they were also working to coordinate something with the EBID. Discussion followed regarding who would be attending the Mayors' Conference in Washington in late January. While Dr. Bahr and Mr. Esslinger are tentatively scheduled to go, the Organization encouraged other city, town, and village mayors to attend if possible. Discussion followed regarding Las Cruces' involvement in the NM /TX Water Commission's lobbying proposal. Organization consensus was that the Dona Ana County Regional Water Treatment Siting Study should be included in the NM /TX Water Commission's lobby proposal, thereby creating a regional lobby package. The lobby proposal will also include the Spaceport as a peripheral item. The Organization agreed to use Mr. Needham's report in the lobby package with the inclusion of the Spaceport. As the lobby package did not require specific sites to be named, none would be included. The LRGWUO will provide a cover letter to be included with the lobbying package clearly stating issues of concern to LRGWUO. 6) Other Items of Interest Mayor Smith informed the Organization that Pauline Salopek was no longer a member of the ISC. He will mail a letter to the new ISC representative with an invitation to attend LRGWUO meetings. Mayor Smith will also contact Senator Macias to determine who will replace Mr. Schaefer in representing Dona Ana County. Mr. Esslinger informed the group that EBID had been awarded $25,000 for two metering sites on the Rio Grande. The first site with be at Hayner Bridge between Las Cruces and Hatch. This meter will measure all river water coming from the Rincon Valley. The second meter site will be located at the NM /TX state line in Anthony. This site will be on a twenty - four -hour meter, which uses a telemetry data acquisition system to measure the amount of water leaving New Mexico. L J LRGWUO Minutes January 6, 1999 Page 4 of 4 Mayor Smith advised the group that Jack Hammond, the Rio Grande Compact Commissioner, had resigned. Mr. Joe Hanson had been appointed to replace him. Dr. Garcia gave an update on the regional water plan. He will meet with EBID and NMSU on January 7 to draft an RFP, which will then be presented to the SAC for review. When the RFP has been approved, it will be presented to the LRGWUO for adoption. As there was no further business or discussion, the motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. Mayor Smith adjourned the meeting at 2:37 p.m. APPROVAL: Ruben Smith, LRGWUO Chairperson 4