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Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District
MRGCD Board of Directors Seeks Public Input
The Board of Directors of the MRGCD is seeking public comment on proposed changes to the Naming of Buildings and Other Entities policy.
Below is a copy of the proposed policy along with a comment page.
Public comment on the proposed changes will be available for 30 days at which time the Board of Directors will consider action on the proposed policy.
Three Board Members Sworn-In
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District added two new members to its Board of Directors and the third was re-elected.
The Honorable Linda M. Vanzi, New Mexico Court of Appeals administered the oath of office.
John P. Kelly, Position #2, Bernalillo County was sworn in to his second term and Glen Duggins from Socorro County took the oath of office for the At-Large, Position #1.
Matthew Aragon, elected to serve as the Valencia County Director, Position #5, was unable to fulfill the requirements needed to hold public office and his seat was declared vacant by the Board of Directors. The Board members then appointed Beverly Dominguez Romero to fill the term as the Valencia County Director by a vote of 5 to 1. Ms. Dominguez Romero came in second behind Mr. Aragon by 37 votes in the June 2nd election.
"Before today's Board meeting, Mr. Aragon notified me in person, and by letter, that he was unable to receive the necessary pardon by Governor Martinez to restore his right to hold public office as a convicted felon and thus was not able to take the oath of office." said MRGCD Board Chairman Derrick J. Lente. "The Board of Directors has full confidence that Ms. Dominguez Romero will serve the constituents of Valencia County to the best of her ability.
Each Director has been selected to serve a four-year term.
It has been a very long time since an update, and my apologies for that. It was a very busy spring, with an extremely dynamic water supply situation. But at least the news is good!
We are now in the second week of July, and the river is still running well. This is all natural flow, with no water is being released from storage. The last few years we have had to start releasing form storage in May already, so 2015 offers much needed relief both to irrigators and water managers. With the weather patterns we have been seeing, and what the forecasters are saying, this comfortable situation may last a while longer. Although I expect we will eventually need to release some storage this summer, every day we don't just puts us in that much better shape for next year.
The news on storage is nothing short of miraculous. We were able to store 81,600 Acre feet of water in El Vado this spring. Adding our SJC allocation (still short, but better than it could have been) to that we currently have over 92,000 AF in the reservoirs, and there will probably small SJC allocation this month. Best of all, the Rio Grande water was stored free and clear, outside of any RGC Art. VII restrictions, so existing storage credits did not have to be used. The RGC situation continues to get close attention of course. Elephant Butte is still quite low, and storing as much as we did this spring potentially causes a problem for us at the end of the year, but so far the natural inflows remaining high are helping us make deliveries to the Butte, and a good monsoon season could see us in good shape by December.
There has been some confusion about "rotation". Because of the favorable water supply, we are not on a "strict" rotation. However all deliveries must still be scheduled through the ISO (please give several days advance notice, if possible), and irrigators are expected to use water wisely. Also, we have experienced no water bank curtailment so far this year. Natural flows have remained well above the flow threshold, and we are now above the storage threshold for curtailment.
“Dog Biscuit Hill” Designed as Part of Rio Grande Valley State Park
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Board of Directors are honoring a former Albuquerque City Councilor and Bernalillo County Commissioner by designating the Atrisco Heading Parcel as the Patrick J. Baca Open Space Unit
. This popular access point to the Bosque is also now included as the newest 12 acres of the Rio Grande Valley State Park.
At its regularly scheduled meeting, April 27, 2015, the Board of Directors, by way of resolution, designated the parcel, locally referred to as “Dog Biscuit Hill”, in honor of the late Patrick J. Baca, a former public servant and life-long resident of the Duke City.
“It is a privilege to honor Mr. Baca and his years of dedication to the City of Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and the Great State of New Mexico.” says MRGCD Board Chairman Derrick J. Lente. “Now everyone can continue to enjoy our great Bosque while remembering this great man.”
The Patrick J. Baca Open Space Unit of the Rio Grande Valley State Park will be retained and owned by the MRGCD but will be maintained and managed for conservation, education, and recreation by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division under the policies of the Rio Grande Valley State Park Management Plan and Joint Powers Agreement.
Read full resolution (here)
Board of Directors Sets Water Bank Lease Rates
At a Special Meeting, the MRGCD Board of Directors set the Water Bank lease rates for the 2015 irrigation season.
On a 7-0 vote, the board approved an administrative rate of $100, a water lease rate of $50/acre and a water service charge of $31/acre. These rates remain unchanged from 2014. The administrative fee can cover a 5-year period providing there are no changes by the land owner to any provisions in the Water Bank Lease.
The District will begin charging the canal system in preparation for the 2015 irrigation season, March 1.
New CEO/Chief Engineer Begins Work
New CEO/Chief Engineer, Mike Hamman, began his first day on the job at the MRGCD, January 20, 2015, ushering in a new era at the water district.
Mr. Hamman, a registered professional Engineer in New Mexico, brings 33 years of engineering and water resources management experience working primarily on New Mexico water resource development projects and issues.
Mr. Hamman comes to the District from the US Bureau of Reclamation, a federal water management agency.
Mr. Hamman replaces Subhas Shah who served as CEO/Chief Engineer of the MRGCD for 37-years.
District Breaks Ground on San Acacia Levee Project
The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, along with four other governmental agencies, broke ground on the initial phase of the $287-million San Acacia Levee project.
The reconstruction of the initial six-mile stretch of levee will be constructed by Kirkland Construction out of Colorado and will involve a six-mile stretch to the east of the City of Socorro.
The re-engineered levee will now meet FEMA standards established after Hurricane Katrina and will remove Socorro residents from the flood plain.
The groundbreaking brings to a close more than 65-years of work and negotiation to reconstruct the levee from the District's San Acacia Diversion dam to three miles north of San Marcial.
The District was joined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the City of Socorro, the Interstate Stream Commission and various other dignitaries at the groundbreaking.
The guest of honor at the event was the Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works.
Construction is due to begin by the end of 2014 and the initial construction phase will take about two years to complete.
See Video of the event here.
(Video Courtesy: USACE)