Law Professor and Author G. Emlen Hall: “Water Tales from the St. Augustine Plains”
Hosts: Andy Otto, Alan Webber & Bill Dupuy
Santa Fe Watershed Association
The Santa Fe Watershed Association, in conjunction with Journey Santa Fe, is offering four speakers in May on the subject of WATER and WATERSHEDS IN NEW MEXICO and how they relate to our local Santa Fe River watershed.
This talk will discuss the pending application to drill and pump 54,000 acre feet per year from a ranch in the Plains of San Augustine in Catron County near the Very Large Array (VLA). The application proposes to pipe that new water 130 miles up the Rio Grande where it would be offered for sale to water-short municipalities such as Albuquerque, Rio Rancho and others along the way. The municipalities have not committed themselves to the project or to purchasing the water. The so-called “APR project” has caused enormous controversy of all kinds. This talk will analyze the width and depth of that controversy and assess it against the historical, legal, scientific and human background of the APR pipeline proposal. Em Hall became an emeritus professor of law in 2007. He has focused his research and writing on the history of land and water in the Southwest in general and New Mexico in particular. He has written three books on the topic: Four Leagues of Pecos: A Legal History of the Pecos Grant from 1800 to 1936 (1984); High and Dry: The Texas-New Mexico Struggle for the Pecos River (2002), and Reining in the Rio Grande (with Phillips and Black) (2011). Prior to joining the UNM law faculty in 1983, he spent seven years at the State Engineer’s Office. During his time there, he wrote an administrative history of the Pecos River Compact from its inception in 1949 to 1974. This was the beginning of his research for “High and Dry.”