Jim Dunlap, Chairman of the Interstate Stream Commission: Don't Divert the Gila River through the AWSA
On March 11, 2013 the Grant County Commission held a public meeting to approve or disapprove the resolution R-13-18 which supports a project that will divert water from the Gila River in Grant County to Deming through funding from the Arizona Water Settlements Act which needs to first be approved by the Interstate Stream Commission. This diversion or any diversion project would drastically harm the Gila River which is a fragile and pristine water-way that is home to the endangered loach minnow, spikedace, and southwestern willow flycatcher, as well as the elusive mountain lion and 350 recorded species of birds. The Gila River is worth preserving for its cultural values as well. The Gila River was home to generations of Native Americans and has many petroglyphs and other artifacts preserved between the walls of its stunning canyons and hidden among its tranquil wetlands. Approximately 1,000,000 people visit the Gila National Forest each year through which the last free-flowing river in New Mexico runs: the Gila. Please do not displace this legacy. Please do not divert the Gila via the Arizona Water Settlements Act. A diversion project would cost New Mexico far more than the allotted $128 million. Southwest New Mexico can meet its water needs in other ways. Instead choose non-diversion projects for instance: municipal conservation that would extend the life of our water, water reuse projects, sustainable groundwater use, or watershed restoration.
Please, don't divert the Gila River and instead choose non-diversion projects.
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