From the Water Committee:
The Board of Directors of the Los Caminitos Homeowners Association created the Water Committee of the Board at its August 22, 2015 Board meeting. The 2015-2016 members of the Water Committee are Dennis Clements, Doug Eyberg (chair) and William Scheer.
The Water Committee’s principal initiative is to use this Water Page to make available to Los Caminitos lot owners one or more sources of information concerning the Aamodt litigation, which has a long and complex history and affects all of us. See “Information Sources” below. The Water Committee will also sponsor one or more forums for lot owners featuring local water attorneys. These will be general overview forums to provide high level information concerning Aamodt, and will not provide specific legal representation to any lot owner. We anticipate the first forum will be held during the holidays in December 2015 – date, time and location to follow.
The Aamodt litigation (State of New Mexico ex. rel. State Engineer v. Aamodt, et al) was initiated in 1966 to adjudicate water rights in the Pojoaque Basin Stream System, including water rights of the Pueblos (Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque) and water rights of non-Pueblo well owners. It is said to be the longest-running federal court case. A settlement agreement was reached in March, 2013, and the approval or non-approval of the settlement agreement is presently pending before the federal court. The settlement agreement can be found in the websites accessible from the links below. The Aamodt litigation and pending settlement affects all of us in Los Caminitos. Like New Mexico water rights and water usage law, it is very complicated and, depending on each lot owner’s individual circumstances, can affect our lot owners differently. If the settlement agreement proceeds, lot owners will be required to make an election as to their respective water wells. Educating yourself as to the settlement, the elections and other related matters potentially affecting lot owners should be very important to you.
As presently provided in the pending settlement agreement, there are three elections which, generally speaking, address a well owner’s willingness to cease using their well and connect to the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System if and when built and, whether or not such election is made, the level of permitted water usage from the well. Detailed information concerning the Regional Water System and the well elections is available in the settlement agreement and in the websites accessible from the links below. As of November 1, 2015, the court had not yet ruled on the settlement agreement or set a deadline for well elections to be made by well owners. Although timing is unpredictable, we understand that it is expected a deadline may be set in the not too distant future. Please recognize that statements in websites (and this Water Page), including whether the court has or has not set a deadline for certain well elections, will become outdated and, therefore, should not be relied upon as your sole source of information.
There is substantial information publicly available through internet searches, including the settlement agreement itself, various maps (including the current map of the proposed water system) and information related to the litigation, the well elections and the proposed Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System. You may find one or more of the following websites (which is not a comprehensive listing) useful, each of which contains additional links to other sources:
Disclaimer: The Aamodt litigation and settlement, and the effect on any particular Los Caminitos lot owner, are complicated legal matters. Neither Los Caminitos, the Los Caminitos Homeowners Association nor any member of the Board or Water Committee is providing now nor will provide in the future any legal advice or representation whether through this Water Page, any other communication (written or oral), or any forum orpresentation arranged by the Water Committee. The Water Committee recommends that Los Caminitos lot owners educate themselves and, as they see fit, retain competent New Mexico water attorneys for personal legal representation.
Here is a recording of the presentation by Kyle Harwood at our clubhouse on Dec. 29, 2015: