Water belongs to the soil

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Several weeks ago, I sat through one week of court proceedings where many city hired “water experts” and two attorneys promoted the idea, the water in the Rio Gallinas should belong to the city. My imagination started to wonder what could happen in 15 or 20 years when a few city elected officials took control of all the water in the river.

I feel the water belongs to the soil where river bottom land may be needed to produce food for future generations.

Recently the acequia water users received a bill for $10,000 from the attorney who is helping argue the need to keep the river water on the land. My thoughts then went to the question, how much could all these “experts” be costing the city? I remembered my friends and neighbors complaining about the high utility rates. Those experts need to be paid.

This notion of buying and selling water rights has got to be against our forefathers (yours and mine) who dug the irrigation (acequia) system by hand. I understand the city officials take the river water “at will” as it is now. Why then waste money unnecessarily in the courtroom?

José E. Maestas
Las Vegas