Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
The beginning of the end of one of the longest-running water rights cases is underway. But the end is still at least eight years away and some loose ends still need to be tied, including securing funding to complete a $400 million-plus project and an unsettled dispute over access to roads on pueblo land.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation contractors have begun work on the first phase of what will become the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System serving approximately 3,900 homes, and 9,921 tribal members and non-tribal residents from San Ildefonso Pueblo to Santa Fe. It is the crucial piece in the decades-old Aamodt water rights case, which quantifies water rights for San Ildefonso, Nambé, Pojoaque and Tesuque pueblos, and sets out rules for non-Indian well-users to either tie into the system or rely on their own wells. Area residents use the water not only for drinking, but also to irrigate crops and gardens.