The Abeyta Settlement meetings at the Juan I. Gonzales Agricultural Center [March 4] were useful. I have a better understanding of the reasons for the provisions of the Abeyta Settlement, and the way it is meant to work. Clearly, the general intention is to provide enough water to allow the people of Taos Pueblo, the acequias, and municipal water-using organizations to carry on as before.
Carrying on as before seems feasible to me for Taos Pueblo and for the acequias. However, for municipalities and private organizations, underlying the entire topic of water in Taos County, there seems to be reliance on population and economic growth for prosperity — in accordance with the assumptions of current standard economic models. Assumptions that population (and consequent water use) growth is necessary for prosperity ought to be rethought.
I believe we can come up with a better set of ideas by which prosperity can be had without population growth. If we do not form local economic models that do not require growth, it will be no time at all before we run up against a new and dire water shortage.