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NEW MEXICO SHOULD GOVERN ITS WATER RESOURCE MORE LIKE A COMMONS AND LESS LIKE A MARKET COMMODITY

Conventional wisdom asserts that what is needed to ensure that water is allocated to its highest and best uses is for governments to “get out of the way” and allow markets to function efficiently. That approach doesn’t seem to be working well for New Mexico’s future, for reasons discussed below. How we govern our water becomes particularly critical in the context of looming disruptive impacts of climate change on our sources of supply. This essay proposes an alternative: to think of our water resource as a commons, and govern it accordingly.
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