BY MAIRE O’NEILL
A provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 signed into law by President Donald Trump includes $137 million for the Aamodt Litigation Settlement Completion. This amount raises the federal cost ceiling for the $406 million Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System project and amends the Aamodt Settlement to extend the substantial completion date of the project by four years to 2028.
The final decree for the Aamodt Settlement Agreement was filed in federal court in July 2017. It primarily deals with the water rights of the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, Tesuque and San Ildefonso which would receive 2,500 acre feet per year (afy) from the Rio Grande and up to 1,500 afy would go to Santa Fe County utilities. The goal of the agreement was to resolve the water rights claims of the four pueblos by piping additional water into the Pojoaque Basin by constructing the proposed water system.