News | August 14, 2014

Augustin Plains Ranch Ranked Among The 'Strategic Top 100' List Of Priority Infrastructure Projects In North America

Proposed water project in western NM recognized for its legitimate purpose, carbon efficiency, job creation, and more

The Augustin Plains Ranch (APR) proposed water project in western New Mexico has made the CG-LA Infrastructure’s Strategic Top 100 list for North American Infrastructure in 2014. APR recently applied for a permit to pump, reclaim and then transport 54,000 acre-feet of water per year from its location near Datil, NM to those Rio Grande River communities that are most in need.

According to the CG/LA report, the “Strategic Top 100 North America lays out a roadmap of strategic infrastructure projects with specific, immediate business opportunities that point toward an entirely new level of vitality for North American competitiveness.”

Projects were selected through a six month process and a preliminary list of more than 400 projects, each of which offered business opportunities in the next 3-18 months. The 100 top projects selected represent more than $369B in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Of the ranking, AES Corporation President and CEO Andres Gluski said, “Today more than ever, we need innovative proposals, like a national infrastructure bank and greater use of public private partnerships, to start building the infrastructure we need for tomorrow.”

APR was one of only 8 water or wastewater projects selected from the three countries and was the only New Mexico project included on the list.

“We are pleased to hear that APR has made the Strategic Top 100 list for 2014,” said Project Director, Michel Jichlinski. “This project is a very big step in developing a new and sustainable source of water for New Mexicans for generations to come, and I am glad that it has been recognized in North America for its innovation, feasibility, and legitimate purpose.”

The APR proposal is pending approval from the New Mexico State Engineer to begin the hearing and research phase on the project.

More about the project…

Where will the water come from? The Augustin Plains Ranch owns more than 17,000 acres of land in the San Augustin Plains of west-central New Mexico and that acreage sits atop a very large and very deep aquifer that has yet to be utilized. According to the Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Plan, this subbasin (APSB) has a total volume of approximately 50 million acre feet (AF) of groundwater in storage. Early test wells have demonstrated that the aquifer yields water of excellent drinking quality.

The Augustin Plains Ranch is proposing to enhance the sustainability of the aquifer by building structures designed to capture the run- off from the nearby mountain range. The Ranch is strategically located as it intercepts various drainages exiting the range. Total precipitation into the basin exceeds 1.6 million AFY and yet, according to the Regional Water Plan only 18,000 AFY reaches the aquifer for recharge. A relatively small increase in the capture of precipitation would therefore dramatically increase recharge in the basin.

Where will the water go? The water will be delivered via a pipeline to the Middle Rio Grande. A detailed presentation of the proposed routing for the pipeline is included in the application submitted to the New Mexico State Engineer in July 2014. It starts at the Ranch and ends in Bernalillo County, after 140 miles. All users along the way would have access to the water.

More about the technology…

What makes this a “carbon-free” project? The power needed to operate the pipeline and the pumps will be generated entirely by using clean, green energy. The project property sits at an elevation of 7,125ft, while the Albuquerque metropolitan area lies at 5,200ft. The elevation drop is sufficient to allow for gravity flow of the water to Albuquerque and for the production of hydropower. This will account for most of the project’s energy needs. In addition, the Ranch is situated in one of New Mexico’s best locations for solar power production, which will provide the remainder of the project’s energy.

For more information on the Augustin Plains Ranch Water Project, visit To receive the full-length copy of the Strategic Top 100 North American Infrastructure Report, please email To review the pending application, visit

SOURCE: The Augustin Plains Ranch (APR)