Thursday, January 31, 2013


The WATER GRAB is headed to the
New Mexico Court of Appeals.  Three justices
 hear Appelate cases - three of those folks above.
Who you get is probably luck of the draw.
The case could easily take a year before it
actually goes to court - assuming the court doesn't
 refuse to hear it - which happens,
according to the New Mexico Environmental
Law Center, who represents the Good Guys.
Lots and lots of paperwork goes on now.
This is the same application,
with vague or non-existent answers
about a number of things, such as
what the water specifically is to be used for,
and where it's going to be utilized,
(a seven county region is mentioned). 
This app has been floated through
the decision process twice so far,
turned down, and now we have Round 3.
The Modena Organization is "buying time"
 it looks like - dragging the mess onward,
 which ends up costing everyone,
 and is probably part of a strategy
to wear down the opposition,
 and keep the issue in a "holding pattern." 
Perhaps they figure that either eventually
 they'll somehow, some way, get approval,
 or, maybe interest someone in 
buying them out.  Who?  What?
Big-dollar environmentalists and a Texas
 ranch operator working together? 
Don't Maine the Modena Boys
proposed a nightmare development in a
pristine coastal area,
and it ended up being a timber company
along with some fat-wallet Sierra Club-types
that saved the day.
And they bought off Modena and his "investors,"
 and the problem disappeared.
  The Italianos got paid what has been called an
 "exorbitant" amount of cash;
and if this whole story is actually as bizarre
 and Soprano-like as it sounds,
 I have no doubt there's a lot of intrigue here.
It seems like a whole new form of EXTORTION.
There's more about the  story of these
Italianos and their "investors" -
 and their scheme in Maine -
 further below on the
 It seems like anything's possible.  Beware.
by Bob Nolan
All day I face the barren waste
 without the taste of water,
Cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry

and souls that cry for water,
Cool, clear, water.
The night are cool and I'm a fool
 each stars a pool of water,
Cool water.
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn

 and carry on to water,
Cool, clear, water.
Keep a movin' Dan, don't you listen to him Dan,

 he's a devil not a man
and he spreads the burnin' sand with water.
Dan can't you see that big green tree

where the waters runnin' free
and it's waiting there for me and you.
Cool, clear, water.
The shadows sway and seem to say

tonight we pray for water,
Cool water.
And way up there He'll hear our prayer

 and show us where there's water,
Cool, clear, water.

Dan's feet are sore he's yearning for
 just one thing more than water,
Cool water.
Like me, I guess, he'd like to rest

where there's no quest for water,
Cool, clear, water.

Cool, clear, water.
"When the well's run dry,
then we know the worth of water."
Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Paul Donahue
Water promises to be to the 21st century what oil was to the 20th century:
  the precious commodity that determines the wealth of nations. Fortune magazine, May 2000
Imagine for a moment what life will be like in the corporate-controlled world of the future. A handful of huge, powerful corporations will be responsible for all the societal services now handled by local, state and national governments - schools, police, prisons, military, mail, elections, social security, and so on. Even more importantly, corporations will control those things essential to human survival, namely food and water. If they can figure out a way to commodify the air we breathe, they surely will attempt to exert their control over the planet’s oxygen, as well. Services once provided by government agencies, accountable to voters, will be provided by corporations, accountable only to stockholders. With our governments in the sway of the corporations, our minimal democracy having eroded even further, and ultimate authority ceded to corporate- run international trade organizations, we will have lost the power to control the things

 most important to our survival.
Is this some remote and unlikely futuristic scenario? I wish it was, but a corporate-owned and controlled planet is closer than you might think - much closer - and unless we wake up soon and start taking back the reins, it will become a reality. One of the most important struggles being waged around the world against corporate control is over who owns our water. Water is essential to all life on the planet, from microbes to humans. If ever there was a natural resource that should remain part of the commons, this is it..
On a world scale, freshwater is scarce and becoming scarcer, with demand growing greater each year as the human population of our planet continues to swell. The rate of global water consumption is currently doubling every 20 years. With more than one billion human inhabitants of the Earth already lacking access to safe drinking water, and that number growing daily, the scenario for the future is already very frightening. The World Health Organization predicts that 48 nations will face severe water shortages by 2025, and the World Bank has predicted that by the year 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population will

run short of fresh drinking water.
As fresh drinking water becomes more and more scarce, the world can expect violent conflicts over water to become more commonplace, destabilizing entire regions of the world. Hotspots where water reserves are dwindling include the Middle East, northern China, Mexico, California and almost two dozen countries in Africa. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a ready example of a water war already in progress, but the situation in the Middle East and around the globe will undoubtedly grow worse in the years ahead. If you think the current oil wars are bad, wait until the
 water wars really kick in.
Making a bad situation even worse, much worse, we have entered the brave new world of water privatization, where huge, predatory, multinational corporations are gradually gaining control over our once publicly-owned water supplies. With growing scarcity, the market value of water will undoubtedly rise. It is with good reason that Fortune magazine has dubbed water the oil of the 21st century. According to Fortune, the annual profits of the water industry now amount to about 40 percent of those of the oil sector,
 and are close to $1 trillion.
International “free” trade agreements have given a tremendous boost to water privatization. The World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), established by and for large multinational corporations, promote deregulation and privatization of goods and services, including water. As a result of these trade agreements, it is now difficult for a nation to control exports of its water beyond its borders, or to prevent foreign corporations from establishing water operations inside the country. As an example, under NAFTA’s rules, Canada may be forced to allow the bulk export of water to the United States. Already, a California company is suing the Canadian government for $10.5 billion because the province of British Columbia banned the commercial export of bulk water.
The international water cartel also receives a tremendous amount of help from international lending institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Working hand-in-hand with the water giants, these lending institutions are both actively pushing water privatization, forcing developing countries to abandon their public water systems and contract with the corporations to provide water to their citizens. The World Bank has recently changed its policy from pressuring countries to privatize their water systems, to making water sector loans contingent on privatization. With the water systems in many developing countries in desperate need of repair, the countries have little choice but to accept the terms dictated.
The challenge ahead of us is formidable. The corporations involved in water privatization are extremely powerful, with strong allies in government. In the words of Maude Barlow, author of Blue Gold, The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water, “It’s important to remember that it’s a very small, incestuous circle - these water companies, the World Water Council, the World Bank,

 the World Trade Organization, the IMF.
There’s a lot of money to be made from the commodification of water, and these people know
 that whoever controls water is going to be
 both very rich and very powerful.”
The momentum for privatization is considerable.
If we are to protect our public water resources and prevent
 the nightmare scenario of for-profit corporations meting out costly water to a thirsty world,
 the time to act is now.
Public water activists argue that,
 because water is a necessity of life,
 no individual or corporation should have
the right to possess ownership and place
a value on the resource.
 In short, water is for life, not for profit.
Advocate and author Vandana Shiva
resolutely states, “Water is a commons because
 it is the basis of all life. Water rights are
 natural rights and thus usufructuary rights,
  meaning that water can be used,
 but not owned.”
Ashley Powdar

Monday, January 21, 2013


. .
Below is a sung Hebraic (Jewish) version of the Psalm.
Give to the LORD, you sons of God,
give to the LORD glory and might;
Give to the LORD the glory due his name.
Bow down before the LORD’s holy splendor!
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is power;
the voice of the LORD is splendor.
The voice of the LORD cracks the cedars;
the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon,
Makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
and Sirion like a young bull.
The voice of the LORD strikes with fiery flame;
the voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer dance
and strips the forests bare.
All in his Temple say, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned above the flood!
The LORD reigns as king forever!
May the LORD give might to his people;
may the LORD bless his people with peace!

Translation from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website
Above: A summer thunderstorm on the
Plains of San Augustin at the VLA,
the Very Large Array, the world's largest
 radio astronomy facility, operated by the NRAO,
 the National Radio Astronomy Observatory,
with funding through the National Science Foundation.
The NRAO is one of the many "PROTESTANTS,"
no, not like those nice Methodist or Lutheran folks who
live down the road, but in this case, it's legalese - lawyer talk -
 for the GOOD GUYS, 
in the legal battle against the WATER GRAB
 by the foreigners.

"Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure."

From the Canticle of the Sun
Saint Francis of Assisi

Thursday, January 17, 2013


FEBRUARY 2, 6:30-12 at
Things will kick in at 6:30 -
when Bernie Romero & Friends will be
playing Spanish and Western (unplugged).
It'll be a time to talk WATER and enjoy some
 free snacks courtesy of The M & M Grill!
$10 minimum donation - all proceeds going to
the coalition for their Water War!
Must be 21
There will be laptops available with folks
to help out, so you can send a message about the issue -
 what you think - directly to
Governor Susana Martinez's office.

If you can't make the dance but would
like to send the Governor your thoughts,
here's the link to the simple form from her
office website - you don't have to fill much out -
 only your name is actually required -
 if you want to personalize it with your home address,
 town, e-mail, phone, whatever - it's up to you.
There's a space for you to write your
message near the bottom - you'll see it.
Or Call!  The number above is to
Governor Martinez's office, directed to
the "Constituent Services" folks, the ones
who listen and make note of your position -
opinion - wishes - whatever!  Very easy going,
nice folks - no hassle!  Business card size
"fridge magnets" identical to image above
  will be available at the dance.
We'll begin with Governor Martinez,
and move on to other "powers-that-be"
as time goes by.  These people have a moral
and legal obligation to serve the best interests
of New Mexicans - not foreign investors!

 "The primeval element of "water"
 is not only the embodiment of everything
 that flows, or is capable of change and alive,
but since the dawn of time,
 it has had a divine aura."
From the website
And here's a wrap-up of how the event played out:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Could this get violent?
Well, a lot of people will be very
surprised if it doesn't,
because they're waiting for it,
expecting it - IF some bureaucrat
in Santa Fe is stupid enough to let the
foreigners try to move ahead any further with
 this scheme.
No one wants violence, but it doesn't seem very
realistic to think that people are just going to
throw up their hands and walk away
 if the foreigners get bureaucratic approval
on their someday-to-come new application
to the State Water Engineer's Office
or any other route they might take
on their present application, like
the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Is this all an ethical question, a moral issue?
You can bet the farm it is.
Could this War, this Water War,
be called, from a Catholic outlook,
a "Just War?"
I took 16 years of Religion, Theology, and Philosophy
 in Catholic schools and universities.
  The anwer, from what little I know,
 is an absolute, unequivocal YES. 
 I wonder if Bruno, Vittorio, and their "investors"
 are prepared for any of this?
 Ya' think they watched any of those
"Spaghetti Westerns?"
"Fight for the Water Hole"
Frederic Remington (1861-1909)
"President Teddy Roosevelt championed Remington
because his art celebrated American individualism,
self-reliance, and stamina - qualities that Roosevelt...
valued highly and considered endangered.
It is no accident that Remington's Fight for the Water Hole (1903),
 a painting that celebrated the heroism and bravery
of a last stand fight for survival, appeared as a frontispiece
in the fourth volume (1904 edition) of Roosevelt's
sweeping saga, Winning of the West (1889-1896)."
From The Modern West - American Landscapes 1890-1950
by Emily Ballew Neff
"A man from the west will fight over three things:
water, women and gold, and usually in that order."

Senator Barry Goldwater, Arizona

Friday, January 11, 2013


Let's do a little arithmetic here.
Our Italian folks want to pump 54,000
acre feet of water per year out of the aquifer.
How much is an acre foot?
It's enough water to cover an acre of land,
4, 840 square yards, or 43, 560 square feet,
12" deep in water -
 325,853+ gallons.
Or....54,000 acre feet of water would cover
 540 acres in a hundred feet of water,
 imagine a real big deep water port.
So how much agua is 54,000 acre feet?
In gallons that's
 plus change.
Per year.
That's over 2 million gallons an hour -
33,478 gallons per minute,
557.9674 gallons per second,
24/7 - no holidays off!
And they claim they can pump it for 300 years,
(or until it runs out), whichever comes first.
The sheer nerve of these foreigners is
 almost more astounding than the numbers.
Could you float an aircraft carrier in
that much water?
Yes, you could float an aircraft carrier.
Along with the Queen Mary, a good chunk
of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet, Noah's Ark,
Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, 
and even a half-dozen Mobster-owned yachts
  thrown in for good measure -
(with jet skis too!).
Question: How much money
 is this water worth, over time?
Answer:  You'd need a vault the size
of a big hay barn to hold all the cash.
What are you paying for water these days?
How many gallons, for how much?
At a penny a gallon the annual
gross receipts for these "investors"
 would be over $175 million bucks a year.
Some people will say that figure's too high.
OK - cut that in half - a half penny a gallon.
I pay about that in Magdalena -
 just down the road from Rancho de Agua.
That would be $87.5 million - to start with.
Or mabe a lot more, a LOT more.
The Italianos aren't showing a business plan.

How much cash would developers and
politicos be willing to fork over so that
the Albuquerque metro area, that
highly misguided experiment in
 urban fear and loathing,
 and so that Santa Fe, today a southwest
 pile of crap that defines the words:
 vanity, pretension, arrogance, and illusion,
could grow like the cancers they are?
Who knows?  Quien sabe? 
 What kind of money would
Bruno and the boys have to float around the
 bums in Santa Fe, the Bureau of Reclamation,
a few so-called hydrology "experts,"
some cooperative folks in the state press, 
 the Corps of Engineers, a few congressmen....
you know.  To get things done, you know.
How much? 
 Only what's necessary,
as Tony Soprano would say.
Hells bells, and everyone in New Mexico
who hasn't been either asleep, drugged, drunk,
or hidden away in the attic or basement for 
most of their life, knows the truth of this:
What, a million or two?  Less?
They've always been cheap here.
I'd bet I can find an attorney/bagman
 to work things out for all parties,
to everyone's satisfaction (as they put it),
 faster than you can say:
"What denomination of bills would you like?
Or would you prefer a Swiss bank account?"
How much did Bill "pay-to-play" Richardson pocket
 to help Rancho de Agua get as far as it has?
Water prices, nationally, vary from region
to region, but in the desert Southwest,
 very soon, if not already, water might
 be called a "bargain" at prices much
 higher than this.  The cost for water across
this whole area is only going up - not down.
This is potable water, drinkable water,
not some sludge that needs a mammoth
filtering plant to remove all the scum.
Only 1% of the planet's water is drinkable.
And remember, these guys are saying the
aquifer could be drained at this rate for
  So....generations and generations still to come
of the Modena clan and these "investors"
 can buy their mansions, Ferraris, yachts,
 elite European and American university 
degrees for all their kids, gold and diamonds,
 and truckloads of cannoli, all on this one deal!   
It may take a while to line up the buyers -
but I'm sure these guys can certainly
make you an offer you can't refuse,
 as they say....
The potential profits here are unbelievable!
It's a Godfather's dream....
the money will be coming in like a
pipeline gushing a steady stream of cash.
And I'd bet the San Augustin Plains Ranch
will be accomodating to the local folks,
their good neighbors all these years,
 whose wells will have probably dried up
at some point early in this fiasco,
and give all these people with dry holes
a nice CREDIT account, so they can actually
BUY water from these characters!
(Make sure you pay on time, or there
could be certain repercussions for your
unfortunate tardiness....)
Certainly there must be plans for all of this,
and a lot more.... a lot, lot more....
There is speculation going on among
some journalists that this is the largest
amount of water, EVER, proposed for use
in the West that comes from a private source.
The heist is a whole new can of worms,
or spaghetti-o's you might say.
More to come!
"Water is the driving force of all nature."
Leonardo da Vinci