Water Bank Lease Rates and Fees Set for 2016
The MRGCD Board of Directors has established the Water Bank administrative fee, and lease and water service charge rates for calendar year 2016.
On January 11, 2016 the board voted to continue the administrative fee of $100 and the lease rate of $50 per acre but raised the water service charge per acre to $34.
All rates are effective immediately.
For complete information on the Water Bank and rates associated with it, click here.
To read Resolution M-01-11-16-116.4, adoption of Water Bank rates and fees for 2016, click here.
Board of Directors Hears Presentation on Alameda Drain Trail Project
Bernaillo County representatives presented the master plan for the proposed Alameda Drain Trail Project to the MRGCD Board at its regularly scheduled meeting on December 14, 2015.
The plan outlines changes to the Alameda Drain area that could include trails, water areas for recreational enjoyment and even the possibility of agricultural areas that could include edible wild plants and fruit trees.
The plan is the work of Bernalillo County, the MRGCD, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Flood Control Authority and the City of Albuquerque.
If you would like more information on the Alameda Drain Trail Project, click here.
MRGCD Board Member Addresses Senate Committee in Washington, D.C.
Hearing testimony on drought and water management in the western United States, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources heard from the Vice Chairman of the MRGCD Board of Directors.
At the hearing, Board Chairman. Derrick Lente and CEO, Mike Hamman accompanied Director, Adrian Oglesby as he told the committee that the drought has eased in parts of New Mexico and that water agencies are now working together to make strides on stretching irrigation water in the Land of Enchantment. Oglesby also told the committee that more must be done to help the farmers and save endangered species in the middle Rio Grande valley.
Director Oglesby's full testimony to the Senate Committee can be heard HERE.
Federal Judge Rules in Favor of MRGCD in Silvery Minnow Case
An Endangered Species Act lawsuit filed by the WildEarth Guardians (WEG) against the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alleging that those agencies were not consulting with regard to actions needed to avoid jeopardy to the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow (RGSM). A motion to dismiss by the agencies has been ruled upon by United States District Judge, Robert Brack.
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) joined the lawsuit as an intervenor when WEG claimed in its suit that the BOR should be regulating the MRGCD when it came to water delivery to farmers in the middle Rio Grande valley.
“The Federal Judge in this case recognized that the Conservancy District is doing its job in accordance with all laws and regulations.” says MRGCD CEO/Chief Engineer Mike Hamman. “The District will continue to work with all partner agencies in an attempt to secure the future of the Minnow while continuing our mission of supplying water to our irrigators.”
Judge Brack also ruled that how Federal agencies exercise their discretion in developing a biological assessment with regard to species management of the RGSM was not something over which the Federal Court has jurisdiction. The result was to dismiss those aspects of the case having to do with delivery of water by the MRGCD to irrigators.
The judge did, however, refuse to dismiss those aspects of the case relating to actions of the Federal agencies in implementing an existing biological opinion from 2003. Those issues will likely be moot because a new biological opinion will be issued in early 2016. The judge also refused to dismiss WEG’s claims that the Corps of Engineers is violating the ESA by not consulting on its own water operations.
Read the full versions of the court ruling below.
WEG vs USBOR, USACE, MRGCD - Document 69
WEG vs USBOR, USACE, MRGCD - Document 70
The Board of Directors approved Resolution M-07-13-15-139 on Monday, July 13, 2015 at its regularly scheduled meeting.
The Resolution adopts additional and offsetting measures and conservation measures for inclusion in the 2015 Biological Assessment re-submittal.