Welcome to the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District
MRGCD Board of Directors Hires New CEO/Chief Engineer
The Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, Derrick J. Lente, announced the selection of Mike A. Hamman as the District's new Chief Engineer and CEO following the retirement of Subhas Shah.
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.
“After a more than six-month search, the Board of Directors determined that the best candidate was someone who has worked directly with the District and could continue a consistency while still bringing about change and progress.” says MRGCD Boards Chairman, Derrick J. Lente. “Mr. Shah has served the MRGCD admirably; today marks the beginning of a new era for the District.”
Mr. Hamman comes to the District from the US Bureau of Reclamation, a federal water management agency with 13 projects from the San Luis Valley in Colorado to Fort Quitman in Texas. As Area Manager, he leads a staff of 190 in six field offices that performs operations and maintenance of well fields, diversion dams, large dams and reservoirs such as Elephant Butte, river channel maintenance on the Rio Grande and Pecos basins, water modeling and accounting for project water, and implementation of endangered species programs.
He has worked as a Regional Water Planner for the NM Interstate Stream Commission, Water Utility Director for the City of Santa Fe, and Water Administrator for the Jicarilla Apache Nation. He grew up in Taos and received his Bachelors of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexico.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the Board of Directors and the District’s employees to continue the critically important mission of supplying water for agriculture and valley flood protection while advancing partnerships with tribal, local, state and federal agencies in managing and protecting the precious resources that lie within the boundaries on the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District” says Mike Hamman as he accepted the position.
Hamman will officially begin his duties on January 19, 2015.
Bernalillo County Commission Honors Retiring MRGCD Chief Engineer
At its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 18, 2014, the Bernalillo County Commission honored MRGCD CEO/Chief Engineer Subhas Shah for his dedicated service to the Mid-valley.
Shah, who is retiring at the end of 2014, has served the MRGCD and its residents for more than 37 years.
The Bernalillo County Commission issued a proclamation outlining Shah's accomplishments and service.
This honor is just the latest in a string of honors from agencies throughout the valley.
District Wraps up 2014 Irrigation Season
The 2014 irrigation season in the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District was brought to a close on October 31st.
Water will continue to flow in a few canals, delivering water for Pueblo lands through November 15th. Non-Native American irrigators along those canals may also use water if desired, but only with the permission of the ISO (Ditch Rider).
The 2015 irrigation season is slated to begin March 1st.
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)
Barelas Has New Bosque Access
The City of Albuquerque dedicated a new pedestrian pathway from the Barelas neighborhood to the Bosque on the eastside of the Rio Grande.
The MRGCD granted the City a license to put a pedestrian and bike bridge across the Riverside Drain. With the bridge in place a walkway was built leading to Tingley Drive and into the Bosque.
The total cost the project was roughly $550,000, paid by the City of Albuquerque.
Board of Directors Approves FY15 Budget
The MRGCD Board of Directors approved the budget for the 2015 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 and running to June 30, 2015.
The budget was approved on a 5 to 2 vote and includes a 5% increase in the ad valorem mill rate and a $3.00/acre (10.7%) increase in water service charge.
Links to the approved budget and budget resolution are below:
FY15 Budget Revenue (Approved)
FY15 Budget Expenses (Approved)
FY15 Budget Resolution
Questions concerning the budget should be directed to the MRGCD General Offices at 1931 Second St., SW, Albuquerque, NM or by phone at (505) 247-0234.
MRGCD Involved in Five-Point Water Conservation and Management Plan for Valley
Key governmental jurisdictions and agency leaders, including representatives from the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, recently completed a series of roundtable discussions that have resulted in a study and plan to Maximize the Water Supply of the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
The discussion and subsequent water plan, are the result of Senate Memorial 8, sponsored by State Senator Michael Padilla and passed by the New Mexico State Senate during the 2013 legislative session.
The plan outlines five significant ways to maximize the water supply in the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
MRGCD staff participants in the roundtable discussions included Chief Engineer, Subhas Shah; Hydrologist, David Gensler; Assistant Engineer, Ray gomez; and MRGCD Directors, Adrian Oglesby, Karen Dunning and Eugene Abeita.
A complete copy of the Senate Memorial 8 water plan may be viewed at the following link:
Maximizing the Middle Rio Grande Water Supply
MRGCD and AMAFCA Exchange Honors
At its regularly scheduled board meeting, the Albuquerque Metropolitan Flood Control Authority Board of Directors received an honor from the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, presented by Chief Engineer/CEO, Subhas Shah.
Shah presented AMAFCA Board Chairman Tim Eichenberg with a proclamation honoring the Flood Control Authority for it's 50 years of service to the Albuquerque area.
"AMAFCA" has been a good partner over the years to the MRGCD and our collaboration has benefited the Flood Control Authority as well as the Conservancy District." says MRGCD Chief Engineer/CEO, Subhas Shah. "Hopefully we can continue to work together to better the Middle Rio Grande Valley." Shah adds.
Following the award by the District, AMAFCA Chairman Eichenberg presented Mr. Shah with an award for his more than 35 years of service to the District and the people of the middle valley.
Shah announced in November his intention to step down as Chief Engineer/CEO of the District effective December of 2014. Shah will then stay on with the District in a consultative role for the next six to 12 months.
Shah Started as Chief Engineer of the District in 1977.
A Retirement and Succession Plan is Announced for CEO/Chief Engineer
Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Chief Engineer/CEO Subhas Shah and the MRGCD Board of Directors have announced the retirement and succession plan for the Mr. Shah.
Shah has served as MRGCD Chief Engineer/CEO for 36-years and will continue his employment as CE/CEO with the District until December 1, 2014. Mr. Shah has agreed to pass on his extensive knowledge of the district, gained during his long tenure, to his successor.
In his Announcement of Retirement Mr. Shah thanked those who helped him in his journey with the MRGCD, a life journey.
"I have been reflecting on how the MRGCD has profoundly changed my life. It has been a challenging career for a young engineer with no political know-how and to survive within a notoriously political agency that controls the most precious water and land resources in the State of New Mexico. My time at the MRGCD has taught me so much, and the hands-on experience is something that you can never learn in school …. believe me on that one!" said Shah. "The District has been my life. When I say “District,” I don’t mean just the ditches, dams, buildings, vehicles, and computers that make up the physical side of the MRGCD. “District” means all of you – the employees, the board members, the residents, the irrigators – everyone who has worked to keep this sliver of green oasis in the desert alive, well and thriving. YOU all have been my life and I have worked for all of you. I hope I have done a good job. "
The more than 100 people in attendance at the meeting gave Mr. Shah a standing ovation.
“Subhas Shah has been a dedicated public servant and has led the District through a period of many challenges and great changes.” says MRGCD Board Chairman Derrick J. Lente.
The District will begin the search for a replacement in the coming weeks and will take the necessary time needed to find a professional replacement for the Chief Engineer’s position.
To read Mr. Shah's entire speech, click here.