Let's cut water use now and avoid another Texas lawsuit - Albuquerque Journal

Let’s cut water use now and avoid another Texas lawsuit

We couldn’t agree more with the recommendation that action is needed now to cut our water use in the Middle Rio Grande region. The N.M. Legislature and state engineer must lead that clarion call to establish incentives for equitable, enforceable shortage-sharing agreements among the primary water users in the region — including the cities, the water utilities and the conservancy district.

For too long, there’s been a disconnect between our plans and our actions, our words and our deeds. Entertaining the possibility of building the massive Santolina development on the far west side of Bernalillo County, the county commissioners heard from the experts in August that New Mexico is 40,000 acre feet behind in delivering water to the Elephant Butte Reservoir, meaning we’re less than a year from a compact violation that will undoubtedly trigger expensive litigation for years to come. County commissioners approved Santolina’s new development plans regardless.

Clearly, none of the local and regional entities that control our water and land use resources will come to the table voluntarily to commit to shortage-sharing agreements. The N.M. Legislature is going to have to use a stick in addition to incentives. And the upcoming legislative session is the time and place for action.

Other members of Progressive Democrats of America/Central New Mexico chapter support the position in this guest column. They are Laura Stokes, Willard Hunter, Amy Antle, Bill Swift, Alice Rogers, Sally-Alice Thompson and Lora Lucero.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Let’s cut water use now and avoid another Texas lawsuit

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