BPU recommends delaying a decision on San Juan/Chama

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County > Revised water plan could include pertinent information

By Arin McKenna

The Los Alamos County Board of Public Utilities is recommending that any action on the San Juan/Chama water project be delayed until the county’s 40-year plan is revised.
The project was delayed in 2013 when White Rock residents protested a proposal to dig one to three wells in the area to capture the county’s 1,200-acre-feet San Juan/Chama water allotment.
A staff report presented to BPU on Wednesday recommended waiting until the study is complete for several reasons.
According to the report, the plan, completed in 2006, projected population growth that has not occurred, and the plan needs to be adjusted accordingly.
Two developments at Los Alamos National Laboratory may also impact the plan.
LANL will soon begin drilling its first test well to evaluate the feasibility of pumping chromium contaminated ground water, treating the water and discharging the water on the surface.
This project, if fully implemented, could equate to more than 1,290-acre-feet of water rights annually.
Although LANL is looking at possible uses for the treated water, it will not be ejected back into the groundwater.

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