I have been reading with amusement the trials and tribulations of Ridges Basin Reservoir. The old joke at Taxpayers for the Animas River was that if the Ute tribal members ever wanted to use the water in the reservoir, they would need to buy speedboats. Now, it appears even that won’t do.
What is the use for that water, anyhow? Isn’t Lake Nighthorse a rather expensive way to evaporate water? Couldn’t they have evaporated the same amount without the pumping? Or without destroying a priceless wildlife refuge?
I also have been wondering why the Herald’s intrepid reporters have never bothered to call up their neighbor, former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, to ask why, unlike every other Bureau of Reclamation project ever built, the Animas-La Plata Project didn’t include any funding for recreation?
Except, I know the answer. The lack of recreational funding was the senator’s, and the local sponsors of the A-LP’s, little joke. They figured that if the people of Durango would not support the project, they would get back at them by not including recreational funding. I am sure Campbell and the unelected board of the A-LP Water Conservancy District have had plenty of laughs at the local taxpayers’ expense.
So, in addition to a Bridge to Nowhere, Durango has a reservoir no one can use, full of water there is no use for – water that has to be pumped at great expense, paid for, of course, by the local, state and federal taxpayers.
So where are the local tea partiers on this? Why are they not up in arms over this tremendous waste of taxpayer money? After all, the taxpayers have paid 100 percent of the construction costs and continue to pay the operations, maintenance and replacement costs for water that cannot be used, and that adds to the federal deficit every day of the year.
Once again, the taxpayers of Durango, known as patsies to the A-LP supporters, are going to foot the bill. Figures.