Officials to present construction update on Pojoaque Valley water system

Mar. 17—The public will have a chance to hear detailed updates on the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System's construction and the Aamodt litigation that spurred it.

A forum will be held 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Pojoaque Valley High School, with an array of government and tribal officials giving updates and answering questions about the massive project that will divert and treat Rio Grande water to ease the strain on the area's wells and streams.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Santa Fe County, the State Engineer's Office and pueblo leaders will be among those providing information. State Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, will act as moderator.

Work began three years ago on the project, which is planned to proceed in three phases and be completed in 2028.

When finished, it will have treatment facilities, storage tanks and 150 miles of pipeline to supply up to 1.3 billion gallons of drinking water a year to the Nambe, Tesuque, San Ildefonso and Pojoaque pueblos as well as to other Santa Fe County customers in the basin.

Building the system will help settle the Aamodt litigation, one of the country's longest-running water disputes, dating back to 1966.

The legal wrangling arose from concerns that the basin lacked the water to fulfill everyone's needs and rights, especially during droughts.