Water Fight Moves To District Court

Apr 9, 2012


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A commercial venture that sought to drill water wells in western New Mexico plans to take its case to state district court.

Augustin Plains Ranch announced Monday it will appeal a recent decision in which the state's top water official dismissed its application for the proposed project.

The plan called for drilling 37 wells. In all, the company asked to pump more than 17 billion gallons a year for up to 300 years to supplement supplies in the Rio Grande Valley.

State Engineer Scott Verhines said the plan was too broad and the effects of granting the application could not be reasonably evaluated.

Augustin Plains Ranch spokesman Tom Carroll says a hearing on the project's merits should be held. He says the project can deliver a large volume of water in a sustainable way without infringing upon ranchers' water rights.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.