Bureau of Reclamation, Isleta Pueblo and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Agree on Future Management of Isleta Diversion Dam in New Mexico

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The Isleta Pueblo will receive full support from Reclamation and Middle Rio Grande Conservation District in continued sediment management, riparian and bosque restoration and other environmental benefits.

Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez, Isleta Governor Paul Torres, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Chairman Derrick Lente and Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Manager Mike Hamman sign agreement on future management of Isleta Diversion Dam.

Reclamation Commissioner Estevan Lopez, Isleta Governor Paul Torres, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Chairman Derrick Lente and Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District Manager Mike Hamman (left)

It is our hope that the collaborative effort started through this process will continue, and that we have a positive path forward as partner agencies in the operation of Isleta Diversion Dam.

Under the canopy of the changing fall colors of the Rio Grande bosque, the Bureau of Reclamation, Isleta Pueblo and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District signed a global settlement today, resolving past issues associated with Isleta Diversion Dam and solidifying the path forward.

“It is our hope that the collaborative effort started through this process will continue, and that we have a positive path forward as partner agencies in the operation of Isleta Diversion Dam,” Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López said. “Reclamation is happy to report that the first phase of sediment removal under this settlement is complete.”

Isleta Diversion Dam was built by the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District on Isleta Pueblo land in 1934. Reclamation rehabilitated the dam in 1954. Isleta Pueblo has maintained that proper easement was never fully granted to the District or Reclamation.

Technical and legal teams comprised of representatives of the Pueblo, Reclamation and the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District were formed in May 2015 in response to a letter from Isleta Pueblo to work on reaching agreement that could lead to a settlement.

This Global Settlement will grant the United States easement for the next 100 years. The Pueblo will receive full support from Reclamation and MRGCD in continued sediment management, riparian and bosque restoration, and other environmental benefits, in addition to a lump sum payment.

The technical team has facilitated ratification of standard operating procedures for Isleta Diversion Dam and completed a cross-section data collection plan, a dam operations record keeping plan and a sediment disposal plan.

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Mary Carlson
Bureau of Reclamation
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