Sabot L'ours (sabotlours) wrote,
Sabot L'ours

Dam Job!

I had a nice little break from routine yesterday. Every year I have to make a presentation to a small irrigation district north of Santa Fe. It's a small district but it has big water problems since it has a mix of Indian and non-Indian farmers. Their waters are accounted for separately, but the physical system is intermixed. The Indians are always claiming that the non-Indians are stealing their water. The whole area has been a hotbed of water-rights issues. Just recently there was a settlement in a lawsuit which has been in the courts for almost 40 YEARS! I think it holds the record for the longest court case in US history.

I usually hate going to this meeting because the Indian representatives usually start going off on tangents or they take the opportunity to slam the non-Indian group since they operate the facilities. I must say, however, that things have calmed down considerably since I proposed an accounting method a few years ago that is simple to use and puts the burden on the non-Indians.

This year my boss decided that she wanted to attend the meeting as well since she wanted to know how things worked. Ummm...ok. I have been doing this solo for years since nobody else wanted to get involved. Another person from the office wanted to go as well since she will be working on the court settlement from the lawsuit. Ummm...ok. They also wanted a tour of the dam which is no big deal accept it's on pueblo land and I was not sure about access. A few quick phone calls, however, and soon I had a tour arranged. It was an absolutely gorgeous day! The dam is at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mts so the views were beautiful (except for the lack of snow). I got to run around the inside of the dam which is always fun. There is a walkway which goes under the spillway which makes it almost like walking behind a waterfall. I even got a nice workout climbing up and down the 108 steps to get to the main outlet works. A bad day out outside of the office is better than a good day inside, but a great day outside of the office makes up for a whole bunch of bad days inside!

Oh yeah. The meeting. It went just fine. I did my spiel and continued to play the messenger of doom and gloom for this year's water supply. That put everyone in a somber mood but also fired the spirit of cooperation since the only way people are going to get water is if everyone works together.
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