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Emergency fund for water proposed

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SANTA FE – Gov. Susana Martinez will ask the Legislature to create an emergency fund to help communities with critical drinking water supply problems.

The governor proposed Monday that lawmakers allocate $200,000 to allow the administration to immediately respond when local governments face emergencies and potentially are running out of water.

Martinez also wants to be able to replenish the fund automatically in $200,000 installments by issuing an executive order.

That’s similar to what happens currently for disaster assistance, such as when the state responds to wildfires. The governor declares an emergency, which makes $750,000 available for disaster relief.

Martinez also will ask the Legislature to provide $250,000 next year to provide technical assistance grants to local governments for water system repairs.

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