2009 MRGCD Elections

We are pleased to report that two of our endorsed candidates for the Board of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District won their races this June. Adrian Oglesby is a water attorney and long-time conservation advocate currently employed by The Nature Conservancy. Derrick Lente is an attorney and former water rights and environmental resources manager for Sandia Pueblo. They will bring a fresh conservation ethic as well as much-needed reform to this important institution.

What is the MRGCD?

The Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District (MRGCD) is one of the largest land managers and water users in the State of New Mexico. As such, the MRGCD plays a critical role in state water and environmental policy.

The MRGCD was created in 1925 to alleviate flooding in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, and to reclaim marshy land for agriculture. Since then, the MRGCD has been responsible for diversion and delivery of water to approximately 70,000 acres of farmland, management of more than 30,000 acres of Bosque, and operation of more than 1,200 miles of agricultural canals and ditches. The service area of the MRGCD extends along 150 miles of the Rio Grande – through four of the largest, fastest- growing counties in the state (Sandoval, Bernalillo, Valencia and Socorro). Unlike every other irrigation and conservancy district in New Mexico, the vast majority of income for the MRGCD is derived not from water assessments on farmers, but from urban ratepayers in the service area via property assessments.

Priorities of Adrian and Derrick include: reforming the operations of the MRGCD to more responsibly manage our water resources, protecting the ecological and rural character of the District, reducing conflicts of interest and improving transparency, raising public awareness about the MRGCD and its activities, and increasing participation in Board elections, which currently draw a very small percentage of eligible voters.