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News & Press: Rainwater News

SB16 = Water Harvesting Tax Credits!

Monday, February 10, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Melonie Walter
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Dear Water Lovers (Outside of New Mexico)!

We are in the last two weeks of a 30-day legislative session, and we need help passing a water-harvesting tax-credit bill. Can you forward this information (below my signature) to contacts that you may have in this state (or friends who may have contacts here)? Even if our mutual friends have already heard this from me, it would not hurt for folks to get the word from esteemed folks like you!

Tanks for your consideration!


Nate Downey


Nate Downey
1000 Cordova Place #458
Santa Fe, NM 87505
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Dear Water Lovers:

You may have heard that the Senate Conservation Committee's unanimously voted for SB16, the tax-credits for water-harvesting bill, but we also met up with some forces that don't like it. With only two weeks left in this session, we will need all hands on deck. At the very least, Santa Feans should contact Senator Phil Griego who represents parts of Santa Fe, San Miguel, Bernalillo, Lincoln, and Valencia counties. He is the chairman of the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee, and this committee will be the next step for the bill.

Senator Griego can be contacted by email, phone, or snail:


P.O. Box 10
San Jose, NM 87565

Below is a list of the entire committee. If you know people in other parts of the state with representatives on the Corporations Committee, please encourage them to contact their senators. You could also contact all of these people even if you are not in their districts. It doesn't hurt.

• Phil Griego, Chair (see above)
• Lee Cotter (Dona Ana)
• Clemente Sanchez, Vice-chair (Cibola, Valencia, Soccorro, McKinley)
• Mark Moores (Bernalillo)
• Tim Keller (Bernalillo)
• Sander Rue (Bernalillo)
• Michael Padilla (Bernalilllo)
• William Sharer (San Juan)
• Mary Papen (Dona Ana)
• John Sapien (Bernalillo, Valencia)

Here is contact info for all of the NM Senate.

Please forward, write, call, email, share, like, and shout in favor of SB16 from the nearest mountain top ASAP. The sooner we can get a hearing, the better chance we'll have to pass this bill.

Please also stay tuned to upcoming emails and/or my Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc. It would be very good if we can have a large presence at the Roundhouse for the next hearings.

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions. Below the PS is a sample letter.



PS What follows is some info about SB16:

1) Please note that section 1 of SB16 was deleted by the committee on Tuesday. This was not a big deal. Here is the full text of the bill with section 1 still in it.:

2) Objections range from red herrings to legitimate concerns.

2a) Red herrings include the fear that a huge number of people will suddenly install cisterns and then Albuquerque (Bernalillo County) will not be able to deliver on its downstream water responsibilities.

2b) The potential Supreme Court battle associated with the Gila River (which dumps into Arizona) was on the OSE's mind. It seems that properties within this watershed might need to be exempt from the new law. If the OSE insists on this, it should not be a huge problem for the bill.

2c) Legitimate concerns include a question concerning the minimum size of the water-storage vessel as well as how the "effectiveness" of the systems will be checked. The industry has matured to the point where we can overcome this hurdle, but it will take work, and we certainly don't want a bunch of ineffective systems installed due to these efforts. Fortunately, the City of Austin has had a similar system in place for a couple of years, and it seems to be working there according to my sources.

The solar industry has many years of tax-credits under its belt, and it has its hazards, too.

3) Reasons to support it abound:

3a) Increases water quantity/availability for New Mexicans
3b) Improves water quality in our watersheds
3c) Creates jobs in the hard-hit development industry
3d) Provides resiliency for communities in times of crisis (cf. problems faced by 1 in 8 West Virginians last month)
3e) Encourages New Mexicans to value a currently wasted source of water
3f) Improves quality of life with more shade, more wind protection, healthier soil, increased biodiversity,
3g) Reduces human contribution to global worming by using fewer resources. One in four units of energy moves water in NM.
3h) Would put NM at the forefront of water conservation issues so improves our reputation during these widespread times of drought
3i) Relieves water systems that are in trouble
3j) Add your reasons here!

PPS Here is a sample letter:

Dear Senator Griego:

Thank you for voting for SB16 in the Senate Conservation Committee. I support tax credits for water harvesting, and I hope SB16 gets a hearing in the Corporations and Transportation Committee soon.




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