2015-01-07, Gary Esslinger, Elephant Butte Irrigation District

Jim Berry & Al SanchezBill Harty rang the bell (with gusto) to begin our meeting at 12:10pm. Ana Mangino presented a nicely prepared invocation and Pres. Harty led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. Michele Murphy led the club in singing “Auld Lang Syne.” Next we sang “Happy Birthday” to our January birthday Rotarians. We circulated in the room and greeted one another. Steve Loman was the mystery greeter.

Al Sanchez was inducted as our newest member of the club. His sponsor is Jim Berry (they are pictured right). Blaine Goss gave an update on club member Alex Keatts who is still in the process of healing.  Announcements followed: 1. The Rio Grande Academy schedule has been set; 2) The 4-Way Test writing contest dates are in place; and 3) The club web-site has been updated. Happy bucks were gathered from the likes of Ana Mangino, Charles Tharp, John Hernandez, Jim Scott, Lya Jordan, Patty Groth, Kim Hakes, Ross Ramsey, and Gus Gandara.

Guest Rotarians: Barbara Rose Farber introduced Elaine Lara as her guest and also gave us an update on her husband’s medical conditions. Dinus Briggs brought Bill Brogan as his guest. Our speaker Gary Esslinger brought his wife, Tina.

EBIDThe Program:  Gary Esslinger, EBID

Howard Ness introduced club member Gary Esslinger as our speaker of the day. Gary oversees EBID for our area.  He likes his job and confesses that he “has water in my blood.” He also disclosed that he comes from a long line of farmers. 

Gary EsslingerHis speech covered three topics: The Project; The Compact; and Innovations.  The Rio Grande Project arose out of the long-standing dispute over who-gets-what in terms of surface water along the river. Mexico complained that they we not getting enough water and people throughout the middle of NM were concerned about water coming in from Colorado.  One of the jobs of EBID is to insure that we get a fair amount of water.

After explaining the hydraulic system cycle of water, Gary explained that as people dug more and more wells, it meant that farmers were getting less surface water. “You need to replenish the aquifer” if you take too much out with wells. Farmers need water.  In fact, 90% of the water in our state is used for agriculture.

The Compact refers to an agreement of how water is to be distributed from the Colorado border down to the Mexican. A “district” system map was part of the settlement.  On that map, Mesilla Valley, to Elephant Butte, is identified as the Texas section. This is ironic since we are always fighting with Texas over allocations today.  The culprit of the disputes is drought.   History shows that droughts cause water wars.  In recent years, we have seen 7-10 foot drops in our aquifers. This is true in the U.S. and around the world. With increasing demands for water, the water supply shrinks. We need new ways to deal with water.

Innovations refer to new methods for preserving what we have and using water for energy.  We need to take advantage of rainfall as a good source of water.  Monsoon rainfall is now being captured into pools so that it can sink in. We are widening natural drains with ponds. We are creating restoration parks to help the aquifers. Finally, EBID is experimenting with generating electrical power with water flowing into turbines, impellers, and propellers.

Gary ended his speech talking about how desalination is a part of our future that we cannot ignore.  There is plenty of brackish water that can be cleaned and used for drinking water as well as for other purposes.

After the Program:  Lya Jordan won the raffle. The meeting was closed with the 4-way test. 

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Guests of Rotarians



William Brogan

Dinus Briggs

Elaine Lara

Barbara Rose Farber

Tina Esslinger

Gary Esslinger

Visiting Rotarians


Home Club



Student Guests











Submitted by Blaine GossBlaine Goss