It's hard to give you an accurate chronology of what happened over the years. So, I'll start from the very beginning.
I had a 22 acre water allotment on my land, which was being farmed. I owned it since the mid-70s. The property is on Alameda along the EP-Socorro city limits. In the mid-90s I stopped leasing the property to a farmer in order to develop the 20 acres that were in El Paso. I had another 3 acres in Socorro. I developed the El Paso portion into a mobile home park and left the 3 acres in Socorro undeveloped, most of which was used as a ponding area for the mobile home park. I leased the 20 acre water allotment in El Paso to EPWU in 2002 on a long term lease. At that time, EPWU could not lease irrigation water rights outside of the city limits. Thus, I kept the remaining 2 acre water allotment on the other 3 acres in Socorro. I offered to lease the the 2 acre allotment to the Lower Valley Water District at that time. They told me they would happily take the water, but wouldn't pay for it. So, I basically told them, "Toma!" Since then, I learned that EPWU is now leasing irrigation water rights outside the city limits. Nevertheless, I kept the 2 acre allotment. The annual assessment is only $54.00. I am currently developing the 3 acres in Socorro into a strip center. I sold the mobile home park about a year ago.
Here's where the time line gets a little fuzzy. At least 6 years ago, and probably longer, Maria Trunk, who was a member of Friends of the Rio Bosque and President of the Frontera Land Alliance, told me she was trying to get water for the Bosque. I told her about my 2 acre allotment at that time and offered it as a donation to the Rio Bosque. She was thrilled and told me I would be the guinea pig for other water rights owners to follow. I subsequently went to the Water District and told them what I wanted to do. To make a long story short, I had been stalled, put off, delayed, made excuses to, etc., etc., etc, by the District ever since. In fact Chuy Reyes told me in front of a PSB meeting a couple years ago that he would have something worked out for me "soon". [N.B.: I was there and remember this happening.] I met with him again in December, 2011 to ask about my donation to the Bosque. He told me the turnout was the only thing holding up the transfer and would be installed by March 31, 2012 along with a lease document he was working on with John Sproul and would be prepared by that time. He said it would probably be a 10 year lease agreement between Rio Bosque and me. Nothing happened since until the past few weeks, as you know. John told me just the other day that the turnout was delivered, but still hasn't been installed.
In case you're not aware of it already, here's what's happened during the past few weeks. Richard Teschner called me and told me he was working with Sen. Rodriguez as chairman of the Senator's Environmental Committee. His committee has been working to get private water rights, like mine, to the Bosque. As I told you in the previous paragraph, I'm the guinea pig. Richard said that they're proposing the "Charlie Law" to the Legislature in order to guarantee the transfer. Richard asked me to call Lisa Aguilar at the Water District. I did the following Monday, January 14. Lisa transferred me to a Cathy [Kathy?] Oysten. Ms. Oysten stalled me yet again. I called her about a week later to get a decision. She said there was no way I could transfer my water rights to the Rio Bosque. The excuse being the Bosque had to be farming with a water allotment of their own in order to make a transfer. I reported this to Richard and John. Subsequently, Richard told me Cecilia Rodriguez at Sen. Rodriguez' office called Chuy Reyes. Hence, John and I met with him, Ms. Oysten and Rose Rodriguez Monday morning in the main office of the Water District in Clint. They presented us with the transfer agreement that they will use and mail it to each of us when it's filled out. Now, I'll hurry up and wait once again.
I hope this helps. You're welcome to publish this email in your blog (edited if you'd like).
Yesterday Mr. Reyes met with Senator Rodriguez's Environmental Committee. He was asked why the transfer of water rights was only temporary. (The contract must be renewed yearly.) His reply as that the District does not know how much water will be allocated except on a yearly basis. The question then became why the contract shouldn't be a percentage whatever the allocation is. (It's a percentage now based on land owned.) Mr. Reyes said that he had to fill out a report showing the actual amount of water. I have no reason to doubt this but his bottom line is really very simple: his duty is to District and to make available every drop of water he can to his paying customers. Although one can fault the District for not honoring the water rights of some by making transfers difficult to say the least, one can see their intentions especially as the drought worsens.
Charlie (and others) should be able to transfer their rights . . . by right. I understand the fiduciary responsibility that Chuy Reyes and the District has and perhaps by law Mr. Reyes has the authority to approve or not a transfer - an approval that he may be reluctant to give in times of drought. The form below indicates that he does have such authority. If so, then there is no need for runaround or leaving anyone hanging.