We are not in a drought. A drought is due to reduced moisture in a one, five-, or more-year period, after which normal moisture returns. We are now in a water shortage. The water shortage is due to an increase in temperature of 2°F, which is due to higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. Our burning fossil fuels over the past 200 years has created the current problem.

A 2°F temperature increase yearly average might not sound like a problem, but it’s hotter, so do you drink more water when it’s hotter?  So does the ground, the grass, the trees and the cows.

Obviously, it will only get worse as temperatures continue to increase. The past seven years were the hottest in recorded history. The other three were right up there.

We have to do everything we can to limit the burning of fossil fuels. And as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, our local Socorro Electric Co-op has not moved to install local solar and wind renewable produced energy. A coal generating plant uses 15,514 gallons of water to produce a megawatt hour of electricity. Natural gas, 6,161 gallons. Solar, two gallons and wind generation 0 gallons. The Craig power plant is sited on the Yampa River, which flows into the Green River, which is part of the Colorado River. Due to the water shortage that the west is currently experiencing, the state of New Mexico is receiving less water from the San Juan River through the Chama diversion into the Rio Grande. That means less water flowing down the Rio Grande river, directly affecting us.

So why hasn’t Socorro Electric Co-op been transitioning into local job producing, tax contributing, solar and wind electrical energy production? That’s the question before us, which we have the ability to address. Climate change impacts us all locally, and we need to be doing our part to address the problem. We need to shift to local, renewable electrical production with battery backup as rapidly as possible.

Ward B. Mccartney III

A Socorro Co-op member, Belen


Ward McCartney, Belen