Oct 18, 2018

New Mexico $600 Million Water Plan in Santolina

Developers in New Mexico must provide water & sewer services

New Mexico $600 Million Water Plan in Santolina
New Mexico $600 Million Water Plan in Santolina.

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority officials have informed developers of the proposed 13,700-acre Santolina planned community that new water capacity and infrastructure will be needed to provide water and sewer services at the site, according to the Albuquerque Journal. This would be at an estimated cost of $600 million to the developer over the 50 year build-out.

The first phase of water infrastructure would include a transmission system pipeline, raw water pipeline, storage tanks, pump stations, a river diversion and pump station, a raw water/reuse reservoir and construction of water treatment plants.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Santolina development in southwestern Bernalillo County could see a population of 96,000 people when completed in its entirety. This would include five residential villages and village commercial sites, two business parks, a town center, an industrial/business park, and an urban center among other developments.

Water usage has been a topic of debate for residents because Western Albuquerque Land Holdings sought approval of the “Santolina Master Plan.”

The Water Utility Authority issued a “Water, Reuse and Sewer Serviceability Statement” for the development, according to the Albuquerque Journal. The officials presented the report to board members Oct. 17.

On behalf of the developer, Bohannan Huston requested the serviceability statement. The statement sets out terms and conditions so the authority can provide service to the development neighbors Interstate 40.

According to the Albuquerque Journal, the Bernalillo County planners told developers they would not accept final plans unless water is secured under such a statement. The officials told developers that the groundwater is available on the property. However, no additional water capacity within the authority’s current infrastructure is available.

“In terms of the additional requirements for Santolina, there are three systems that need to be built: a water system, a reuse system and a wastewater system,” said John Stomp, the utility’s chief operating officer, to board members.

Stomp said about 11,700 acre-ft of water per year is need to supply a peak demand of 18.5 million gal of water a day and an average wastewater flow of 7.8 million gal a day for the property, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

“This phasing is based on the demand projection from the information that was provided by the developer,” Stomp said to the journal.