Semantics of two depressing terms describing lack of Water


NewspaperThis time of year articles about how Texas is squeezing New Mexico dry are quite common. Best I can tell Texas is in no violation of any law with respect to its water procurement. If the citizenry of the two great states could be somehow interchanged, then the two groups would change their opinions correspondingly. Sort of like in the NBA on an out of bounds play when five guys point in one direction and the other 5 players point in the other.

Sherry Robinson in All She Wrote issued  faint criticisms of the usages of the terms desertification and drought. Desertification, as the root of the term suggests, means an already arid region running out of water, bodies of water, and vegetation/wildlife. Put more simply, becoming a desert with no hope for human habitation.

Sherry appears to think the terms drought and desertification can be used synonymously. Drought connotes temporary water shortages, whereas desertification suggests not much hope of recovery. I read her excellent Water Law article rapidly and may have misunderstood her intent. She expounded on some of the history between NM and Texas with respect to the amount of water allotted to each state. Her conclusion was that the laws needed to be updated to reflect the current conditions including the much lower annual rainfall in NM.

All the heat, wind, and lack of water is quite depressing. I am glad Sherry writes about the historical aspect of our water crisis. I am somewhat consoled by the fact many generations previous have had to adapt and endure.


11 comments on “Semantics of two depressing terms describing lack of WaterAdd yours →

  1. Outside of misspelling Cahoon Park in Roswell,NM, Curtis Michael did exceptional job of describing why we were not phased by the country wide devastating drought of 2014.

    Alien city does not rely on damned up streams or filling up water tanks. We sit atop a massive self replenishing aquifer that could service a town of 300,000 people according to Head honcho of EDC John Mulcahy.

    So it’s no surprise that Roswell is the dairy capital of the world with 40 Chaves County dairies slurping up 100,000 gallons of H2O apiece daily from the Roswell Artesian Basin.

    Michaels waxed historical describing the efforts of former NMMI chaplain Austin Crile who recognized the perils of not conserving our precious liquid assets of 19 trillion gallons managed today by The Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District(PVACD).

    Also, much deserved forgiveness to Curtis Michaels for the rushed incomplete sentence “According to John Mulcahy, 60 million acre-feet of water in a rechargeable aquifer.”

    Article states that Roswell owns a little over 29,000 acre-feet of water, not mentioning that an acre-foot is approximately 326,000 gallons.

    1. John Fleck,writing for newspaper in Albuquerque, wrote about the much darker side of the draught related struggles of farmers in southeastern NM.

      Carlsbad Irrigation District voted to demand the state of New Mexico shut off groundwater users upstream in the Roswell and Artesia areas to protect Carlsbad region farmers from a depleted Pecos River.

      It is the latest conflict in a water battle between farmers in the Carlsbad area, who are completely dependent on water from the Pecos River, and farmers farther north in Roswell and Artesia. Artesia and Alien city sodbusters use aquifer water.

      The downstream farmers near Carlsbad Maintain that the Roswell,Artesia pumping is draining away water that would flow in the Pecos to their farms.

      Carlsbad farmer Oscar Vasquez said last year was the first time in his 35 years of farming that he failed to produce any cotton on his 400 acre spread making him a slave to rainfall.

      Upstream, pumps in the Roswell and Artesia part of the Pecos Valley frequently are operating at full capacity , creating a bitter struggle between the water rich and poor.

      Balok’s district, the Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District, regulates groundwater pumping that supplies more than 100,000 acres of farmland, supplying an expanding dairy industry along with alfalfa, wheat, corn and pecan farming.

      The groundwater pumpers also supply water to the booming oil and gas industry and municipalities in the area.

      However, even if ground water pumping was ordered to be reduced, it would take much time for that to be reflected as increased flow in Pecos River.

      State water engineer Scott Verhines indicated the complexity of these water distribution issues would be a drag on any expected prompt resolution.

      One glimmer of clarity under New Mexico water law, the Roswell and Artesia users are lower priority because they began using water many years after the Carlsbad farmers began irrigating their fields.

      The Carlsbad farmers primary grievance is that the state has allowed pumping upstream far too long by those lower priority users in Artesia and Roswell which has finally manifested as a problem during 2013-2014 excruciatingly depleting drought.

    2. You might never know that my family has lived in Roswell for 112 years. I never looked at Cahoon Park’s sign until after I published that article and a friend informed me of my mistake.

      You were gracious in the way you pointed out my sentence fragment. That small, yet highly salient fact about an acre-foot should have been there, you’re right.

      Thanks for your thoughts and observations.

      1. Mr Michaels, somewhere on this site, you wrote about the closing of Cecilio’s Mexican Food too I believe.

        The town needs some accurate reportage of the injustices and overstepping of Mayor Dennis Kintigh. City Councilor Natasha Mackey is already going after the loud mouth bully former FBI agent. Del Jurney will hopefully replace the despot soon. Could you write a piece that will put that pool closing fascist in his place WHICH is OUT of OFFICE!!

        1. Thank you Natasha for your big heart and sense of charity in these days of out of control medical insurance which does NOT adequately cover the costs of Sierra & Miguel Galvez who have to ask the community for money at GoFundMe because their health care insurance is not stepping to the plate. Insurance company executives buy luxury yachts and jet set around the world while the hard working class citiens of Roswell New Mexico donate their hard earned money and don’t go on well-deserved vacations because of Big Pharma and greedy doctors and hospitals! Please fix this Mr Trump!! Thanks also to Rosie Whitson, Pete & De Anna Rivas,Debi (Bebe) Galvez-Terron,Colin Galdo,Hector Aragon,Uncle Claude & Aunt Lou Aragon, Scarllet Mendoza,Bari Elfenbein,Isaiah Grissett, and so many more giving souls who gave up their hard earned income to offset crooked, greedy, and heartless business profiteering over the misfortune of others!!!

        2. Mackey displayed logical but erroneous reasoning when she flamed substitute teachers as one of the significant problems faced by RISD. Worn out and jaded full time teachers are a major issue in a school district where low wages are the norm. The university high school math educator does make some excellent points regarding the 10 day absence rule which puts instructors under immense burdens regarding make up work.
          Me thinks she should use her talents to expel Dennis Kintigh. Even I would favor Jurney over him.

        3. Wow, Mackey is running for mayor after vocally and in writing trying to get Kintigh impeached claiming he had his hands in everything. She has transitioned nicely from math teacher to forked tongue politician when she states ” Dennis Kintigh has done a great job moving the city forward and creating new opportunities in the city through his leadership” paraphrased, I hope Kintigh will endorse me if he chooses not to run for second term.

          Sounds much like the flowery deceptive rhetoric she is used to from the pulpit. Natasha, stay out of it! Your beautiful voice will be singing the blues if you actually become first Black woman to get elected. Jurney and his new face lift will be too much for you. Take the simple life of solving equations over the nasty realm of politics!

          1. City Councilor and University High School math teacher Natasha Mackey Is announcing her mayoral candidacy on the west side steps of Chaves County courthouse.

            Natasha’s high school has a GPA of 0.333 with grades of D,D, and F over last three years. I doubt Natasha has taken the time to perform that calculation. She criticized many aspects of Kintigh’s leadership and volatile temper when her report card has been literally abysmal.

            Thought you all would want to know this prior to casting your vote for next mayor of Roswell.

            1. Fred Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer CEO of Rich Glo Products, Inc, exhibits symptoms of Narcissism when he apologizes to city council for being critical of their inactions and policies. Moran, of course, believes roswell citizens highly value his opinion.

              Somewhere Fred grew a massive ego which shields him from the reality that NOBODY cares what he thinks! Maybe it was was in Canada when he called himself a jeweler.

      2. Thespian Curtis Michaels whose outlet is now writing, states anonymity kills credibility. Nice try on coining a famous phrase. Anonymity is the shield against the tyranny of the majority Curtis.
        This globe trotting English teacher from OSWEGO EAST HIGH SCHOOL, OSWEGO, IL is a welcome addition to the RDR adding a fresh breath of neutrality and objective reportage.
        I think he will be that correspondent who is not afraid to challenge the status quo and support of Natasha’s claim that Dennis is an out of control bull in a china parlor.

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