Sandoval Signpost

 

An independent monthly newspaper serving the community since 1988
 
 

New Mexico in the top ten for solar

The Land of Enchantment and New York joined the top ten list for installed solar in 2013, knocking Maryland and Colorado off the list. New Mexico is in eighth place, just ahead of Nevada.

As of the end of 2013, PNM customers have installed 33.2 megawatts of solar, and PNM has installed 44. We have proposed to install an additional 23 megawatts in 2014, bringing the PNM total to 67 megawatts.

By 2015, PNM wind, solar, and geothermal energy sources will produce the amount of electricity used by 135,000 average homes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 915,000 metric tons—the equivalent of taking 191,000 cars of the road for a year.


Help protect the Gila

—Amigos Bravos

The Gila River is New Mexico’s last free-flowing river. Originating in America’s first wilderness, the Gila is rich in biological diversity and cultural history. The Gila’s natural flows support outstanding examples of southwest riparian forest, the highest concentrations of breeding birds in America, including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, a nearly intact native fish community, including the endangered loach minnow and spike dace, and the threatened Gila trout.

The Gila provides significant economic value to the region through outdoor recreation and wilderness experience.

In 2004, Congress passed the Arizona Water Settlements Act (AWSA) that authorized diversion of the Gila River if New Mexico agreed to buy water from Arizona to replace what we take out of the river. The AWSA provided $66 million dollars for community water projects to meet local water needs and a perverse incentive of up to $62 million dollars more if New Mexico elects to divert the Gila River.

Proposed Gila River diversion projects are estimated by the state to cost $349 million dollars, leaving NM taxpayers responsible for the balance ($220 million dollars, or more).

A Gila River diversion project is unnecessary, expensive and will harm the Gila River. An overwhelming majority of New Mexicans believe we should use our current water supplies more wisely and protect the Gila River for people, wildlife, and future generations. Southwestern New Mexico’s future water needs can be met cost-effectively through non-diversion alternatives, such as municipal and agricultural conservation, sustainable groundwater management, effluent reuse, and watershed restoration.

If interested, sign the petition at: protectthegila.org to tell Governor Susana Martinez to support cost effective, non-diversion alternatives to meet southwest New Mexico’s future water needs.

 
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