New water rates will penalize citizens

Letter to the Editor

Regarding water rates and conservation, a few questions come to mind.

Most of us have homes, which were designed a long time ago. Lawn sprinklers, swimming pools, fish/water ponds, usually come with the homes.

With New Mexico American Water Company’s philosophy, one will have to change out appliances, eliminate pools, ponds and sprinkler systems, and make a concerted effort NOT to use water. If we do not, we pay more per gallon due to rate increases and surcharges for using too much water.

I am retired and on a fixed income, yet I’m expected to spend money I may not have to cut water use. How much does it cost to remove an in-ground pool, for re-landscaping and new appliances and toilets?

The rebates offered do not begin to cover these expenses.
Historically, the more water I used, the less it cost per gallon. Now NMAW is proposing to reverse this — use more, pay more.

Regarding the Ute Pipeline project: Municipal and state governments with some federal funds will be constructing and paying to bring in additional water from Ute Lake. NMAW will process the water and charge everyone for it, and we will see a change in our taxes to help pay for and maintain the pipeline.

Sure we can trade in our lawns for rocks and cactus and get rid of our pools and ponds. But should we have to do this to avoid being penalized?

Who does New Mexico American Water Company think they are? (Obvious answer: The only game in town.)

Do they have the right to levy surcharges (read penalties) for excessive use (their opinion) of water? And what about our property values if we remove lawns, sprinklers, ponds and pools? I’m convinced they will go DOWN in value.

Bob Baker