Journey Santa Fe: Norm Gaume on The Controversial Gila River Diversion Project

December 6, 2014

JourneySantaFe sponsors Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. All conversations are FREE and OPEN to the public and take place at Collected Works Bookstore
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December 7, Sunday, 11 am
@Collected Works Bookstore

Norm Gaume on The Controversial Gila River Diversion Project
Moderator: Steve Harris, Executive Director of The Río Grade Foundation

A proposal to divert water from the Gila River in southwest New Mexico underestimates the cost and overestimates the water available, the former head of the New Mexico state agency considering the idea says.

The project, as currently formulated, is “fatally flawed,” former New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission head Norm Gaume said in an interview Monday.

The Interstate Stream Commission, the agency Gaume headed from 1997 to 2002, has decided by to proceed with a possible water project that would take water out of the Gila, possibly with a small dam, for farm or city use somewhere in southwest New Mexico. A state-funded analysis published in January estimated the cost of the project at between $280 million and $469 million.

Norm Gaume, appointed by Republican Gov. Gary Johnson to head the Interstate Stream Commission, said that after reviewing the project study he is convinced that the cost is likely to be far higher. Gaume testified Thursday before the Senate Conservation Committee, which is considering legislation related to the project.

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