Press "Enter" to skip to content

Buy From Some, Seize From Others

Last week I sat through a presentation made by State Engineer, John D’Antonio about his efforts to secure and spend $1.3 billion to settle water right issues with two pueblos and the Navajos. What I want to know is why is Mr. D’Antonio willing to pay for some rights, and at the same time thinks its okay to just administratively seize the water rights (subscription) of others?

The statutory provisions governing domestic wells have been a contentious issue in the past several legislative sessions. Rather than again attempting to revise the process of issuing domestic well permits through legislation, I [Czar of New Mexico’s water] am exercising my authority to issue draft regulations establishing new limits on the amount of water that may be diverted under new domestic well permits.

And as long as I’m asking questions… What’s up with the state buying the aforementioned rights? Why not let individuals and businesses buy those rights? That’s the way our free enterprise system is supposed to work. Our elected and appointed officials seizing water rights is just another example of eminent domain abuse, and according to recent articles, Mr. D’Antonio’s seize the water mentality is contagious (subscription):

City Councilor Michael Cadigan wants to revive plans to acquire a private water company that serves much of the West Side.

New Mexico Utilities Inc., which provides water to almost 17,000 homes and other customers, isn’t as committed to water conservation as it should be, Cadigan said.

He would like to see the municipal water agency— owned by the Albuquerque and Bernalillo County governments— buy or take legal action to acquire New Mexico Utilities Inc.

You read that right folks. Comrade Cadigan believes that if the government can’t buy something then it should just take it. Someone please remind Mr. Cadigan that we still live in America.