- Associated Press - Saturday, October 1, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Environmental activists are calling for the state to reject a permit that would allow a company to pipe billions of gallons of water from rural western New Mexico to more populated communities.

Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians filed a protest of the permit Thursday with the State Engineer’s Office regarding the proposal being floated by Augustin Plains Ranch, LLC.

The ranch wants to drill more than three dozen wells capable of pumping more than 17 billion gallons of groundwater annually to supplement dwindling supplies in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports (http://bit.ly/2dgQkOZ ) that WildEarth Guardians argues the company does not identify who would purchase the water and the Rio Grande and Gila River could be depleted.

Project developers say several municipalities in central New Mexico could benefit.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

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