COUNTY TEAMS UP WITH AREA WATER ASSOCIATIONS TO EASE COMMUNICATIONS

COUNTY TEAMS UP WITH AREA WATER ASSOCIATIONS TO EASE COMMUNICATIONS

Few people know how many independent water systems are owned and operated in Doña Ana County. The number is 89.

At least 30 of those have been meeting together each month in 1999 to explore the formation of a cooperative organization aimed at networking, sharing resources and seeking common solutions to common problems.

Albert Racelis, Doña Ana County’s assistant director of planning, said the county has joined the fledgling alliance and entered into a joint-powers agreement that will create a pool of resources and information from which all member associations can draw as they face inevitable expansion and viability issues.

Racelis said a primary goal of the alliance will be to lobby for money at the state and federal levels to improve water delivery and wastewater treatment in every area of the county. While county government is at work to facilitate those services in the more populated areas along the Rio Grande corridor, Racelis said a benefit of the water association alliance would be to make more money available to outlying areas, as well.

Membership in the new association, Racelis said, will require payment of dues, but he said the amount of dues will be calculated according to the size of the entities represented. He said $100/year is the highest level of dues contemplated for membership at this time.

“Everybody wins if this alliance comes together,” Racelis said. “In our region, the number-one concern is water. Getting everyone to sit at the same table and hash out the issues in a productive manner can’t help but benefit the entire county.”

County participation in the alliance was ratified by the Board of County Commissioners at the March 23 regular meeting. The next meeting of the water association is scheduled at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 9, in the County Commission Chambers in the Doña Ana County Courthouse.

For more information, call Racelis at (505) 647-7244 or Cesar Ramos at (505) 647-7257.