What do you get the man who has everything?

by Rich Wright

How about a man made river?

According to this story from the daily rag, El Paso Water is spending $15 million to put a water feature into Paul Foster’s Campo del Sol development in the Northeast.

The project will rebuild a 50-foot-wide, 2-mile-long arroyo – stretching from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the Franklin Mountains to McCombs Street, across from El Paso Water’s Painted Dunes Golf Course – to collect water from three sources and put it in the Hueco Bolson aquifer, to help recharge a major source for El Paso’s water supply.

A landscaped walking and biking path will be built along the arroyo, which will become the Enhanced Arroyo Infiltration Facility.

. . .

“In addition to storing water, which I think is the primary purpose of this, it’s going to be a great amenity for Northeast El Paso,” El Paso Water Chief Executive Officer John Balliew said after a Wednesday morning groundbreaking ceremony at the McCombs end of the arroyo.

Do the engineers at EP Water know that water evaporates?

Do you imagine an open watercourse is the best way to recharge the aquifer? Because, you know, water evaporates, and the water that evaporates never makes it to the aquifer.

“There will be an accessible pathway that will be landscaped. It will look great and will have water most of the time, and (you’ll) be able to walk from McCombs to Martin Luther King,” he said. “It will be a great oasislike environment.”

The new wetlands will bring natural plants and wildlife, officials said.

Taxes are for peasants.

Remember, the City of El Paso traded 2,213 acres of land in Northeast El Paso for Mr. Foster’s 44 acres on the freeway. The City was going to lease that 44 acres to Great Wolf Lodge for $1,000 a year, and then let Great Wolf Resorts buy the land outright for $5,000.

Then, because the City of El Paso loves everyone but taxpayers, City Council threw TIRZ 13 around Mr. Foster’s development.

You can read about the whole corporate handout here.

Water to feed the streamlike channel will initially come from the Fred Hervey Water Reclamation Plant, located about 9 miles east of the arroyo’s McComb’s end, and from stormwater runoff. The Hervey plant turns sewage water into drinking-quality water.

Fred Hervey water already is piped to the desert area around the arroyo’s McCombs end to put some of the water in several infiltration ponds to recharge the aquifer. The arroyo will replace the ponds, Balliew said.

So it’s not like there’s any new water being introduced into the aquifer. We’re just eating the cost of lots of infrastructure so Mr. Foster’s development will get a new water feature.

But even that’s not enough.

But wait! There’s more!

Eventually, leftover Rio Grande water also will be used to feed the arroyo.

To do that, about $20 million will be needed to build a pipeline to connect the Nevins Pump Station, at Trans Mountain Road and Girl Scout Lane, to the arroyo, El Paso Water officials said. No timeline was provided for the Nevins connection.

Leftover Rio Grande water? There’s not enough Rio Grande water as it is.

Where are we going to get leftover water? And they want to pump that leftover water over Transmountain? Why don’t they just pump some water in from Dell City? Or helicopter in an iceberg?

Cry me a river.

All the taxpayers in El Paso are equal, unless they’re rich, and then they’re more equal.


  1. Think it’s actually $22 million…..
    Well, nyone who believes that the Hervey plant really transforms sewage into drinkable water. is welcome to have some…bottoms up! Last I saw, UTEP had some researchers trying to figure out how to do it…Maybe putting it back in the fake arroyo is the best thing to do with that recycled sewage.
    Meantime, here’s the Northeast beneficiary:per the Times story
    “It also will be an amenity for Campo del Sol, a huge, master-planned community being developed by El Paso billionaire Paul Foster …Homes are about to begin construction in the first phase of Campo del Sol, just south of the arroyo. The arroyo eventually will be inside the housing development, Balliew said.
    Bridges eventually will be built over the arroyo, he added.”

  2. City council must stop Fostering El Paso’s future!
    Send the water to grow vegetables in El Paso and the lower valley.
    El Paso needs better food.
    Stop the plan to fill a 50-foot-wide, 2-mile-long arroyo that is purely decorative!
    El Paso has enough housing, just renovate existing.
    Who can make these decisions?

  3. And despite all the concerns about no population growth here….we live in a DESERT! There are enough people in El Paso! Would the city be better if it had one million people? Two million? Why not work to ensure a good quality of life for a SUSTAINABLE population, and use that river water to grow food !

    1. Rich, you really need to hound the hell out of the city clowncil ningcumpoops. They are all too dumb or corrupt to serve im an elected capacity. Too bad you’re not running for your district this go round.

  4. This looks like it has Tommy Gonzalez’ fingers all over it. Who else has the clout to have: #1, NOT kept the vow that should the Great Wolf Lodge deal not go through, then the Foster/City land swap would have been terminated as well? Everyone remembers Karla Niemann clearly stating this, and her comments are still up on YouTubing uttering that falsehood. We know that Niemann reports to Gonzalez. #2, Who has the clout to have authorized this water use? As per the EL Paso Times article on this water extension, it clearly states it will benefit Foster’s “lazy river” feature at his Campo del Sol development. Water evaporates 1/4″ inch per day from a swimming pool. It evaporates at 1/2″ per day in a dry climate. However, other factors will factor in for evaporation. Sun, windy conditions and distance to transport water. As mentioned above, everyone knows El Paso is in a Desert and water in the West and Southwest is a precious commodity. The last week of July of last year, the Rio Grande dried up around the Albuquerque area. The first time in 40 years. An extensive article on the Rio Grande’s slow diminishment can be found at Yale 360 “The Vanishing Rio Grande.” June 2, 2022. It is quite lengthy but enlightening. As Will Roger said, the Rio Grande is the only river in need of irrigating.” The “lazy river” makes as much sense as Tommy Gonzalez much hyped Water Parks.

  5. And what happened to the plans to have walkways and bicycle paths right next to the Rio Grande
    river besides the levees?.
    The water is there. Leveling pathways should be cheaper than this newfangled boondoggle. Trees and birds
    Would have a place to be!

  6. Most areas in the country will be growing by at least 20% over the next 10yrs depending on immigration numbers. El Paso will have to get use to more and more people arriving. There’s nothing you can do to stop the growth that’s coming. I don’t think any of the low IQ people in the gov’t here can handle the type of city planning and development that is required for the growth. The sad part is these same dummies only know how to raise taxes to do 1 drop of work for the residents. Not a place you want to be stuck in during retirement years.

  7. I would like to know if Foster already has his plot picked out where he plans to build his mansion along with his buddies. Maybe it will be be called Billionaires Row.

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