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23rd Annual Statewide Meeting
“Toward a More Relevant State Water Plan”
January 12, 2017 @ 10:00 am – 6:30 pm MST
Materials from the meeting are available in the Library.
The issue of ensuring a reliable water supply for New Mexico has been the focus of water planning for over 30 years. In 2003, the legislature enacted provisions for “a comprehensive state water plan.” A skeletal state water plan was adopted that same year. Finally this year, the Interstate Stream Commission began the process of working toward a comprehensive state water plan. It is not clear what that means, but it will be substantially different than the one adopted in 2003.
There are clearly issues that affect the entire state and require uniform statewide policies to improve water management. Those issues, such as adjudications, federal mandates, and use of saline and brackish waters, need to be identified.
Other approaches are needed that vary in response to the many different climates, cultures and economies of this diverse state. Many of these are addressed in regional water plans. For two separate time periods – from the 1987 to 2008 and from 2013 to 2016 – the state divided itself into 16 distinct regional planning areas that will have completed two sets of planning documents by early 2017. Other issues must be left to local communities and organizations to resolve.
And finally, there are issues that will require collaboration and coordination between the state, regions, and local governments. These include water transfers, drought and flood management, watershed management, aquifer storage and recovery, among others.
Join the Dialogue in a discussion of where we have come since 1987 when the legislature required regional water plans and what challenges the state, regions and local communities faces that need to be addressed in a revised state water plan.
Background materials prepared by New Mexico First, our partner for this year’s Annual Statewide Meeting, can be read here.