Water loan, grant program facing elimination
John Jones, manager of the Entranosa Water Cooperative, walks past a water tank in Edgewood fed by wells purchased with loans provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — When the Entranosa Water Cooperative decided to buy its own wells and water rights, the small East Mountain system sought U.S. Department of Agriculture loans to make the purchase.
John Jones displays a map of the Entranosa Water Cooperative system, which covers 280 square miles in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties and serves about 8,500 people. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Journal)
The cooperative obtained USDA loans totalling $6 million from 2003 to 2010 to buy about 1,600 acre-feet, giving it control of the wells it needs to serve clients and plan for growth, said John Jones, the system’s manager.
The purchase allows Entranosa “to control our own destiny,” said Jones, who oversees a system that provides drinking water for about 8,500 people across 280 square miles of Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties.
But a proposed cut in President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget plan squarely takes aim at the USDA water and wastewater loan and grant program.