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Water on the Mesa - 'Dry Spell' Ends for Pajarito Residents

March 10, 2008

Bernalillo County, NM - After a long fight, the "dry spell" on Pajarito Mesa is finally coming to an end. The community, located near Albuquerque, is home to about 400 families who have been surviving without basic infrastructure, such as public water and sewer systems, for years.

However, the local water association signed a memorandum of understanding last week with Bernalillo County, a key first step to delivering safe, clean drinking water to the mesa. Sandra Montes, a resident of the area, says her neighbors all pay taxes and simply want the same services other taxpayers enjoy.

"This big step we just made is only the beginning of getting all the basic services to this community, so we can have a better quality of life up there."

Montes believes they still have plenty of work to do, but their victory can serve as an example for other underserved communities.

"I know sometimes it is easy to get discouraged, but don't give up. Things can come your way. It might take time, but never give up."

Montes explains people on the mesa have become accustomed to trucking in water from several miles away. She says the community also is working on getting better roads for the neighborhood.

Eric Mack/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - NM