About the NM Water Dialogue
West of the 100th Meridian people like to quote the adage, Whisky's fer drinkin'; water's fer fightin'! We don't believe that has to be true. Dialogue is about listening actively to try to understand - and not to judge - another person's viewpoint about a strongly held value, in order to discover whether at some level you share common ground. "Water dialogue" encompasses our Board's attempts to discover ways to address contentious issues about how we will share, manage and protect this scarce and vital substance, and be stewards of its sources, so that they will continue to sustain us and those who will follow us.
Our articles of incorporation define the purpose of the New Mexico Water Dialogue: "To promote the wise stewardship of water resources in New Mexico through support of community-based forums for education, communication, and development of common ground." Though this is still true, it has seemed incomplete. In fact our work goes several steps further. The diversity of the voices represented in Dialogue forums and on our statewide Board of Directors means that we seldom take positions on the content of water policy. But we share broad understanding about the need for open, inclusive and democratic processes in the development and administration of those policies, and we keep track of policy-making activities in the Office of the State Engineer, the Interstate Stream Commission, and the New Mexico Legislature to make sure that they adhere to these principles. To reflect these concerns, the Dialogue's Board adopted a revised mission statement on July 27, 2007. The language agreed to by the Board reads as follows:
"To promote the wise stewardship and assure the availability of water resources for future generations of New Mexicans by
- sponsoring community-based forums for education, communication, and development of common ground;
- supporting inclusive, community-based planning processes, at all levels – local, regional and state;
- advocating open, inclusive and democratic processes in the development and administration of water policy; and
- monitoring and publicizing major water policy developments."
Revised mission statement (2011) and bylaws of the NMWD.