ALAMOSA — There have been recent discussions in the Valley Courier and on social media concerning Renewable Water Resource’s (RWR) plans for exporting 22,000-acre feet of water per year out of the Valley to the Front Range.
The Rio Grande Water Conservation District wrote an article responding to what it felt were misleading questions in a push poll RWR conducted by telephone recently.
RWR wrote a response in the Courier (March 3, 2020) taking the Rio Grande Water Conservation District to task for opposing RWR’s proposals, and claiming that the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, being unelected officials, did not have the Valley’s best interests at heart, implying that elected officials, responsive to the needs and desires of their electorates, would approach the proposal differently.
The City Council of the City of Alamosa enacted Resolution No. 9, 2019, titled “A Resolution Opposing Exportation of Water From the Rio Grande Basin,” on April 3, 2019. Alamosa’s elected officials’ primary concern is the effect removing 22,000-acre feet of annual water production from the Valley will have on the economic viability of agriculture in the Valley. This is not a concern that elected officials only in Alamosa hold, but also elected officials across the valley as several have adopted similar resolutions.
The Resolution recites, “the conservation, protection, and use of the water resources of the Rio Grande basin are vital to the continued prosperity of both the agricultural sector and the entire population of Alamosa and the San Luis Valley.”
Agriculture is the lifeblood of the Valley. The devastating, perpetual effect of impairing agricultural productivity cannot possibly be remedied by a one-time payment of $125 Million (as referenced in RWR’s Courier article). The City of Alamosa recognizes the sanctity of private property rights.
However, the City also recognizes that when it comes to something as vital as the water resources upon which all in the Valley depend, any proposal needs to be transparent and forthright in the presentation of facts to enable a fair analysis of the costs and benefits of the proposal. That transparency has not taken place.