KUNM

Gila River

Chris M Morris via Flickr / Creative Commons License 2.0

New Mexico authorized more than $100,000 earlier this month for engineers who are working to develop a plan to divert the Gila River for agricultural uses downstream.

As Laura Paskus reports for NMPoliticalReport.com, there’s a critical deadline for the project next year and some lawmakers are questioning whether the state can meet it and get another $60 million from the federal government. 

Kevin Dooley via Flickr

It looks like state officials have scrapped a $1 billion proposal to divert water from the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico – but they’re still looking to spend $80 million to $100 million to take water from the river for towns and farmers.

Laura Paskus

The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission approved a controversial proposal Monday to divert water from the Gila River in southwestern New Mexico.

The project will draw water from the river, store it in reservoirs, then pipe it over the Continental Divide, to the New Mexico town of Deming. It will take 20 years to build and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Silver City resident Dutch Salmon said he’s disappointed by the commission’s vote but he’s still hopeful the project isn’t set in stone.