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Water A Concern For Santolina Critics, Hearing To Continue In May

Bernalillo County commissioners did not vote on whether to approve a controversial development plan at a hearing Thursday, instead scheduling additional time for public comments later this year.

Developers say the Santolina Master Plan community could someday be home to as many as 90,000 people.

Opponents spoke at a hearing this week in an effort to convince commissioners to vote down the plan. Many said Santolina would take away needed water resources in Albuquerque's South Valley.

But the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority’s Mark Sanchez said there is enough water for Santonlina, with a caveat.

"In order for this community to be self-sustaining into the future," Sanchez explained, "there would have to be a significant investment in reuse infrastructure " so that Santolina residents and businesses could recycle water.

Several commissioners expressed concerns that the utility’s projections may be unrealistic given ongoing drought conditions.

The hearing will continue on May 11. 

Elaine Baumgartel was KUNM's News Director from 2013 to 2019. She was local Morning Edition host from 2007 through 2012 and she regularly hosted the station's live news and public affairs show for some years. Elaine originally came on board at KUNM as a volunteer and student employee in 2003.
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