Statement by Reclamation Commissioner John Keys on the City of Albuquerque and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Water Agreement

Media Contact: Trudy Harlow, (202) 513-0574

For Release: August 11, 2003

The City of Albuquerque has agreed to loan 15,000 acre-feet of water to the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) to extend the District's irrigation season another two weeks. This will allow farmers to have more time to harvest crops and allow us to stretch our limited leased water to meet the requirements of the Fish and Wildlife Service's biological opinion and to avoid jeopardy to the Rio Grande silvery minnow.

This agreement underscores the benefits of communities working together to resolve mutual challenges at the local level.

Next year, after allocations are made to San Juan-Chama contractors, the District will ask us to deliver up to 15,000 acre-feet of the District's available contracted San Juan-Chama water to the City of Albuquerque before releasing any water to MRGCD, in accordance with tonight's agreement between MRGCD and the City of Albuquerque.

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