New Mexico Moves to Divert the Gila River

New Mexico's Gila River | Sinjin Eberle

Tell the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission that water diversion projects are too costly for the environment and for taxpayers. Say NO to dams on the Gila River.

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Recently, I traveled to southwestern New Mexico to tour the area around one of America’s Most Endangered Rivers for 2014, the Gila.

I saw lush valleys with songbirds and cottonwoods, stood in a flowing stream that tumbles out of our nation’s first wilderness area, marveled in the Wild West history that signifies the cultural relevance of this place, and watched trout dart under branches and into deep, cool pools.

But even though parts of the Gila seem serene, there are real threats to one of the Southwest’s most loved streams. As we highlighted with the Most Endangered River listing in April, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission [ISC] is considering a plan to dam and divert the Gila where it flows out of the mountains and heads towards Arizona.

Now its decision time: the ISC will literally seal the fate of the Gila this month, at a hearing in Albuquerque on August 26. A new article in the Santa Fe Reporter outlines the hazards, both financial and ecological, that could result if outdated and expensive water projects are built on a river that is already clinging to life.

New Mexico's Gila River | Sinjin Eberle
Just three miles downstream, the riverbed is bone dry | Sinjin Eberle

Misguided, ecologically devastating, and enormously expensive for New Mexico taxpayers, the proposals being floated on the Gila are simply flat wrong. There are better alternatives.

Take action today to encourage Governor Martinez and the ISC to dismiss these projects. New Mexico should instead focus on cost effective conservation measures and water-smart efficiency projects that are good for the taxpayer, good for sustaining New Mexico’s agricultural heritage, and good for the communities and wildlife that depend on a healthy Gila River.

7 Responses to “New Mexico Moves to Divert the Gila River”

Eric Heimann

Damming the Gila river is the wrong thong to do and at the wrong time. It will do far more damage than good.

Priya Cook

I have hiked many miles wading through the beautiful Gila River. Please do not devastate this beautiful ecosystem with this project.

Kel and Julie Kohlhaas

We love hiking and kayaking the beautiful Gila River. Please leave it alone!!!

Barbara Passero

This is insanity, informed by greed. Call your congressmen and call again.

ann watson

just another example of our dysfunctional government meddling in something they should not. why fix something if its not broken??

Daniel Trimm

Please conserve this precious resource by not damming or diverting it. Save this for future generations who will be glad you did. Remeber that conservative has it’s roots in the word conserve.