The minera leases filed at the Mora County Clerk's office show that not only the oil and gas was leased. They show with but one or two exceptions, the landowners unknowingly or knowingly leased their water resources to SWEPI (Shell Western Exploratory Production Inc). This means they have leased their water without restriction.
When the water is either depleted or contaminated or both, and bottled water costs $4 per gallon, will the $1 per acre or $25 per acre lease be the "wealth" the landowners counted upon?
Some people have been seeing this leasing as a "water grab" in the Las Vegas basin....and they could be correct in their speculation. Pickens, Monsanto, Royal Dutch Shell and Nestle seem to think clean drinking water is a good investment.
Companies, brokers and billionaires are buying up groundwater rights and aquifers. Groundwater is necessary for agriculture and more water is needed to meet a growing demand for food. Many countries have already over-pumped their groundwater to feed increasing local populations. Combine this with climate changes and an ever-increasing strain on water resources due to a rapidly growing world population and you have got a future where water is called "blue gold" because of its scarcity and high cost.