Dr. Lopez - President of New Mexico Tech
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Dr. Lopez - President of New Mexico Tech

can produce four million g

allons a day." "That's a hell of a lot of water to pump out of the ground." Dobson nodded. "The company owns or controls almos

t a half-million acres of land in the Bootheel, plus about seven thousand acre-feet of annual water righ

ts. The day could come when the water may be worth more than the land." "Do you run the show here?" Kerney asked. Dobson chuckled. "Nope, I run the water system

for the smelter and the town site. We've got wells spread up and down the valley. Some are used by ranchers who lease grazing rights from the company, some are for wildlife habit

at. In the more remote areas we use solar power to pump the wells." "The job must keep you jumping," Kerney said. Dobson snorted. "At least I've got a job, for now. But once they tear this smelter down, I'll be looking for work." "Is that going to happen anytime soon?" Kerney asked. Dobson shrugg

ed. "That depends. We've got some groundwater contamination issues to deal with, along with some other environmental cleanup problems. The lawyers are fighting it out with the federal and state regulators." "Do you live in

Playas?" Kerney asked. "I sure do. Me and about fifty-some other folks, give or take a few. The deal is that when the town got sold to become an antiterrorism training center, the residents could stay. Some have been hired on as maintenance and u

pkeep personnel." "Mind if I take a look around the smelter?" Kerney ask

ed. "Go ahead," DoNew Mexico TechbEMRTCson said. "But keep