Taos Water News: Healy Honored and County Amends Regional Water Board, ISC…And Flavio’s Findings

By: Bill Whaley
21 March, 2014

Taos County. Taos County honored Water Trust Board veteran Trudy Healy at Tuesday’s March 18 meeting with a plaque and home-cooked banquet, the latter prepared by Department Heads and helpers at two banquet tables in the foyer of the Complex. Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Linda Lopez attended. Healy commented on recent honors received at the Roundhouse for her ten-year service to the state but said there’s nothing like being acknowledged by your hometown. She only wept a little bit and warned Taosenos to stay alert when it comes to water issues.

The Commissioners also amended the ordinance governing the Water Board Advisory Committee so that each commissioner could appoint one (1) representative, reducing the number of members from nine to five and the quorum to three.

The ISC has called for a Taos Regional Water Regional planning meeting on Monday, March 31, 2014 – 10:00 – 12:00 at the Don Fernando Hotel – 1005 Paseo del Pueblo Sur – Taos, NM. According to the NM Office of the State Engineer & Interstate Stream Commission.

Angela Bordegaray 505-827-6167 Angela.Bordegaray@state.nm.us

The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) has begun the process of working with the 16 New Mexico water-planning regions to update their Regional Water Plans for incorporation into a State Water Plan update over a two-year planning period. The first year will focus on updates of the technical data and reactivation and formation of the regional steering committees. The second year will focus on completion of the updates by the regions to identify the programs, policies, and projects that will best serve the region’s needs. Importantly, the past water plans accepted by the ISC, will be used as a foundation to begin the updates, to build on the previous work completed by the regions rather than “starting over.” In addition to the regional water plans’ value as an expression of a region’s vision for addressing water issues, the updated regional water plans will be used to outline regional priorities for Water Trust Board and other funding applications. See link for the Water Trust Board’s funding and application criteria. The summary of the ISC water planning program and process is available at:

http://www.ose.state.nm.us/Planning/SWP/SWP&RWP_Recommended%20ApproachAlt1_09-03-2013re2.pdf

The first step for each of the 16 ISC water planning regions is to re-establish and develop steering committees following the Updated Regional Water Planning Handbook: Guidelines to Preparing Updates to New Mexico Regional Water Plans (December 2013). The Handbook focuses on ensuring that steering committee members have direct experience with water and represent a broad set of water user groups. To that end, the ISC recommends that the regions re-engage available regional water planning council members who participated in the development of the first round of regional water plans and strengthen the group by ensuring that all water management entities within the region are represented and that individuals with extensive knowledge about local water issues are included.

The ISC with OSE has developed a new approach that will focus regional water planning groups on identifying the projects, programs, and funding needs that will help them address the current drought and other long-term planning issues. For efficiency and to ensure that regional water plans, “talk to each other,” ISC will calculate water supply and demand and identify legal issues using a common technical platform. ISC will also provide population projections and economic forecasts, with input from the regions, to help estimate future water use, OSE will provide a guide to legal and institutional issues affecting water supply and management. These elements comprise a “technical report” developed by the state for each region,

Flavios Findings:

Taos Friction obtained the following MOU from Flavio, who collected the waste paper at a secret MWDCA association meeting, attended by representatives of Gov. Martinez. While the MOU purports to improve drinking water resources by means of regionalization, this writer interprets regionalization as centralization and the subsequent commodification of water resource for free market pirates.

Whose idea is this and how does it comport with the Abeyta agreement and the Taos County Regional Water Plan?

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING TO COLLABORATE IN ORDER TO DISCUSS AND ADDRESS REGIONAL ISSUES FOR SAFE DRINKING WATER SERVICES

Valdez MDWCA, Lower Des Montes MDWCA, San Cristobal MDWCA, El Salto MDWCA, Upper Des Montes MDWCA, Arroyo Seco MDWCA, La Lama MDWCA, Talpa MDWCA, Lower Arroyo Hondo Mutual Domestic Water Consumers and Mutual Sewage Works Association and Upper Arroyo Hondo MWDA enter into this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) hereinafter referred to in total as the “Parties.”

WHEREAS, the Parties to this MOU are public water systems that are required to comply with and provide its users with water that meets the federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards;

WHEREAS, the Parties’ p\lblic water systems are geographically located in the same regiol}al area of each other and desire to protect their source water for drinking water;

WHEREAS, the Parties desire to cooperate on the protection of public health ruid safety as well as on the sustainable use of water resources within their respective areas and communities as set forth above;

WHEREAS, the Parties have separate and distinct public water systems, customer bases, and constituencies;

WHEREAS, the Parties share a common interest in providing safe drinking water to their customers; and

WHEREAS, the Parties desire to collaborate on matters that include the following: providing and sharing information as it pertains to providing drinking water that meets the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) standards and sharing issues from their respective Source Water Assessments that have been provided to the Parties; and

WHEREAS, THE Parties may also desire to collaborate on the sharing of information that deals with quantity and resource issues;

THEREFORE, the parties enter into the MOU for the following purposes:

1. Collaboration in Seeking Regional Solutions. The Parties agree to work together to study the issues raised hereby and to:
a. Investigate and analyze the existing water systems .and related water sources issues, in order to be more fully aware of possible proposals for specific courses of action and such related costs; and
b. Investigate and analyze what relationships among and between the Parties should be formed to best implement any proposed future solutions and/or courses of action.

2. Organization: An informal organization is being created and named the “Taos Regional Water Collaboration” comprised of all signatories and Parties to this MOU,

3. Methods of Collaboration: The Parties agree to work together through meetings, sharing info1mation, discussion and developing agreements as needed by mutual consent.

4. Legal Authority of this MOU: Until and unless the Parties enter into a contract/agreement regarding their ind.ividual water sources and their individual water system owners}1ip, this MOU does not in any way change the legal status or obligations of the Parties nor impose any obligations on any of the Parties. No organization fom1ed or action taken by any Party or Parties purs\lant to this MOU has authority beyond that specified in this MOU, nor is this MOU an expansion of the Parties existing authorities, rights and obligations .

5. Fiscal Responsibilities: Parties to this MOU will bear their own costs incurred in this collaboration under this MOU and no Party to this MOU shall be responsible for costs incurred by another Party or Parties to this MOU.

6. Time Lines. The Parties may recommend future funding projects to the appropriate political subdivision or entity through the appropriate methods for possible adoption. Such recommendations shall not be binding on any of the Parties to this MOU, unless as otherwise determined or decided by the appropriate governing authority of the respective Parties.

7. Termination: Any of the Parties to this MOU may discontinue their involvement in this MOU for any reason and at any time. The Parties agree to provide at least 30 davs notice of their intention to discontinue as a Party to this MOU.

8. Coordinator: The Parties agree to identify a Coordinator to oversee and manage activities associated with the intended collaboration set forth in this MOU

9. Signature of Parties: This agreement is effective upon the signature of all the Parties.

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