Concerns for our water


Once again, Niagara Bottling Co. is poised to appeal to the village of Los Lunas for a heart-stopping amount of Valencia County’s water.

The current request, which remains pending before the Los Lunas Village Council for lack of a finalized report by their unnamed water consultants, moves around the council calendar like the proverbial Calaveras jumping frog.

This water report has been floating around the Village halls in draft form for months, and, as such, will not be released to the public. It appears that information in this document may be pivotal to the council’s decision to go forward with the latest Niagara request: 700 acre-feet of water per year for the next five years. This is a staggering 1.14 billion gallons of water, to be taken in a time of unprecedented drought, with no consideration for the rightful owners and users of the water: Valencia County residents.

For almost three years, Valencia Water Watchers have been resisting Niagara’s bold attempts to harvest our water at every turn. Follow us on FB @VWWpage and Instagram @valenciawaterwatchers.

Today, we are amplifying the voices of Valencia County residents as they weigh in on the Niagara water folly. We asked residents to respond to a survey on this epic crossroads, and they provided us with a deluge of commentary. Below is a sampling of the voices of those who have spoken from their hearts on this matter:

“I see no reason a bottling company should be anywhere in the southwest in the middle of a severe drought. Why are they allowed to profit off our water?” – Los Lunas resident

“Our precious water is too dear to be packaged in plastic and sold. This resource should be protected!” – Los Lunas resident

“A company that uses this much water needs to be located in a part of the country that has an abundance of water, not in the desert where water is drying up and going to be eventually rationed.” – Los Lunas resident

“We live in a desert, why would you take our water?” – Los Lunas resident

“Why would a bottling water company come to the desert southwest for the water? Because they know our village planners are naive and would just hand it over in the interest of attracting business.” – Los Lunas resident

“We cannot allow a for-profit corporation to draw down our most precious resource simply to line their own pockets. Our water should never be for sale.” – Los Lunas resident

“No municipality, not in Valencia County or in Bernalillo County should have the power to sell our water to private companies. The water belongs to the land, the animals and the people. Water should be free and available to those who need it, and completely unavailable to private bottling operations like Niagara.”- Resident outside Valencia County, but depends on Albuquerque Basin aquifer

We count on your sense of right and wrong, and the immorality of siphoning water in the desert, to motivate your participation in resisting the Niagara water plunder: Every! Single! Time!


Pamela McKenzie, Valencia Water Watchers

Another wager


Want to make a bet?

Wow. A whole guest column by Harvey Yates, basically disparaging the 98 percent of the world’s scientists who are clearly telling us that we have to stop investing in fossil fuels if we, in fact, want our kids and grandkids to experience a livable future.

While I’m not an individual who wagers bets, apparently Mr. Yates is, so here are the bets.

If Mr. Yates proceeds with an oil/gas drilling rig in Valencia County, he has to place all his family’s assets into a trust. If there is a measurable earthquake, such as the one that just hit west Texas, and/or his well/wells, in anyway contaminate the ground water or pollute our air, well, there goes the billion dollar estate.

Not that a billion dollars will really address a polluted groundwater aquifer or numerous earthquakes, or the polluted air that causes cancer.

I will, however, be happy to bet Mr. Yates. I’ll drive our Chevy EV Bolt into our garage, roll down the windows, close all openings into the garage and leave the Bolt running.

Mr. Yates can do the same with his fossil fuel vehicle. We’ll wait 20 minutes and see who walks out.


Ward B. McCartney III, Belen


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