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An outlandish technofix
Kudos to the Telegraph and to Will Sands for their
ability to report with balance and to "get it"-unlike most growth- promoting Four Corners-area
media. I have felt like Alice in Wonderland as boom boosters, elected officials (often one and the
same) and the media depict water projects as a "solution" to drought, ridiculous of course, since
for a water project to work, there must be water falling from the sky to put into it. Drought
maps, complicated by one of the highest population growth rates in the world, indicate to the
contrary in the Southwest.
Sands' excellent article (Dec. 11) sheds light on the most
recent outlandish proposal to apply a "technofix" - rather than common sense - via New Mexico's
and the Navajo's latest pipedream to construct a "mega" water project to divert San Juan River
water to fuel ever-more growth and development near Farmington. The only hitch is that, of late,
there is very little San Juan River water. If there is not sufficient water to keep Navajo
Reservoir (and a multitude of other reservoirs) anywhere above their current "record lows," why
are we to believe there will be water to fill this $2-billion-plus project? Oh, I know, the price
tag is "only" some $900 million, but as A-LP showed, there will be inevitable cost overruns, or
what some of us call "cost deceptions."
Former interior secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson
administration, Stewart Udall, recently said, "The thing that is most disturbing to me is the
general attitude that this (drought) is a problem, and it appears to be serious, but everyone
hopes and thinks apparently that the drought is going to end and that good days are going to come
Perhaps that is the mythical water the new Navajo project
will be using, disturbingly similar to the San Juan-Chama diversion water Albuquerque's mayor
swears will provide for that city for "generations and generations to come" - nevermind that
almost no water has flowed through the diversion in recent years.