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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. 

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