BPU to hear update on San Juan/Chama water

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Utilities > Wells likely to come to the forefront again

By Arin McKenna

Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities staff will update the Board of Public Utilities on the San Juan Chama Water Project and the 40-year Water Plan at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the boards and commissions room at the municipal building.
A proposal to capture the county’s San Juan/Chama water allotment by digging wells in the White Rock area sparked protests from residents in 2013. County council directed staff to cease design of the test well located at Site 3 in White Rock and to explore alternatives.
Council instructed DPU to approach Los Alamos National Laboratory for permission to place the wells on Department of Energy property south of White Rock. DPU made a formal proposal for three possible well sites in that area.
DOE/NNSA responded that it was not able to grant an easement or right of way for well drilling or construction on those sites. In a letter dated Jan. 29, 2014, Los Alamos Site Office Acting Manager William J. White informed County Administrator Harry Burgess that the proposed sites were not feasible due to safety, security, cultural and environmental concerns.
“There are a number of cultural sites that would require costly mitigation actions and consultation with the state and tribal governments,” White wrote.

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