A Diversion of the Gila River Would be Wasteful, Harmful and a Big Mistake

The last undammed river in New Mexico, the Gila is under threat from a proposed diversion. Photo by Sandra Postel
The last undammed river in New Mexico, the Gila boasts the healthiest cottonwood-willow forest in the Southwest. The river and its habitats are threatened by a proposed diversion estimated to cost $1 billion. Photo by Sandra Postel

By the end of the year, New Mexico must notify the U.S. Secretary of Interior whether it will pursue the construction of a diversion project on the Gila River in the southwestern corner of the state.

New Mexico’s Interstate Stream Commission decided last week to recommend that the state pursue the diversion. But Governor Susana Martinez can – and should – intervene and choose a wiser course.

Here in the arid Southwest, it’s understandably difficult to pass up a chance to secure more water for the future of our farms and communities. Fear abounds that water shortages will crimp our economies and way of life.

Indeed, throughout the 20th century engineers built dams, diversions, pipelines and canals to store and move water to where it was needed. Water development effectively built the West.

But a new day has arrived. As rivers run dry, we have come to see that water has value not only when we divert it out of its channel, but also when we —> Read More Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *