Privately owned firm serves approximately 80 customers

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FARMINGTON — A water system that serves about 80 customers near Navajo Lake and the Colorado state line has been unregulated for more than 40 years, according to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

The PRC is asking the Rosa Joint Ventures water system to apply for a certificate of convenience and necessity and submit its rates for commission approval. The CCN is required for the company to provide water service to the customers. 

The PRC met today in Santa Fe. The meeting was streamed live online.

The case stems from a complaint filed by a customer in February. The customer questioned why the PRC was not regulating the company and approving its rates.

The PRC regulates privately owned water systems. It does not have authority over community-owned mutual domestic water systems or municipally owned water systems.

The Rosa Joint Ventures water system is privately owned by a couple living in Ignacio, Colorado. However, the system has never been regulated, and does not have a certificate of convenience and necessity from the PRC. According to PRC documents, the owners have said they were not aware they needed to be certified by the PRC.

The water system's owners did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Times. Rosa Joint Ventures does submit water quality samples and testing results to New Mexico Environment Department.

Commissioner Sandy Jones urged the PRC to move quickly on the case and not let it drag out for several years.

“What my concern is is that these things grow legs,” Jones said.

He said it is the customers who suffer when water cases are dragged out.

AV Water Co. took about five years to receive a certificate of convenience and necessity from the PRC. Months after it received the PRC approval, the two water systems it operated were issued boil-water advisories.

Jones started the discussion by saying the Rosa Joint Ventures case felt like déjà vu.

“If there are, in fact, issues, then let’s address them quickly,” Jones urged. “Kicking the can down the road has proven very unsuccessful for this commission.”

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at hgrover@daily-times.com.

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