NM Lawmakers Urged to Allocate More Money to Purchase Water

In an article published by the Public News Service on March 2, 2023, New Mexico Wild’s Senior Water Policy Analyst, Tricia Snyder, discussed the importance of funding the Strategic Water Reserve through Senate Bill 167.

“People are not going to be willing to come to the table to even begin negotiations on a sale or a lease, unless they know that the state has the money to complete the transaction.”

The Strategic Water Reserve was created through bipartisan support in 2005, allowing the state to purchase or lease water rights from willing owners. Water can then be put into New Mexico’s rivers for two purposes: to meet obligations to downstream users through interstate compacts or for the benefit of endangered or threatened species.

The Reserve received an initial investment of nearly $5 million but has received sporadic funding since then. Following the economic crash of 2008, funding was pulled from the Reserve and re-distributed elsewhere. That funding has never been restored and today the Reserve has less than $1 million in its account. We’re hoping to see that change with the passage of SB167 during the 2023 legislative session.

Read the full article from the Public News Service here.

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