Sunday, October 11, 2009

Poll: Majority troubled by water-rights settlement

Even with survey results, lawmakers unlikely to tweak details of Aamodt legislation

"Even though 59 percent of the residents in the Pojoaque Valley have negative feelings about the proposed Aamodt water-rights settlement, according to a Research and Polling survey, policymakers say that probably won't result in any changes to the agreement, which is pending approval by Congress.

"The county believes they can win people over by a greater education process," said Sen. Jeff Bingaman's spokeswoman, Jude McCartin. "Until that is proven otherwise, there is no reason to change course." McCartin said the parties to the settlement agreement — which would resolve a decades-long water dispute between pueblo and nonpueblo residents in the Pojoaque Valley — had already agreed to the terms when the bill arrived on Bingaman's desk.

"He has to rely on the parties to come to an agreed upon settlement," McCartin said. "If they chose to change it, that decision will be made by them."

Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya said he feels the poll reveals that the community needs more information.

"It tells me there has not been a very good education process in explaining the details of the settlement," Montoya said.

But according to the poll, "those who have heard more about the Aamodt settlement tend to have a more negative opinion of it and of the proposed water system."' More>>>>

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