ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said Texas can go ahead with its lawsuit that claims groundwater pumping in southern New Mexico is draining the Rio Grande and depriving Texas users of water to which they are legally entitled.
Texas cleared a major hurdle with the decision, which could set the stage for a protracted legal battle. The court did leave New Mexico what could be an escape clause that would allow the case to be quickly dismissed.
“Texas has the upper hand now,” said attorney Steve Hernandez, who represents the Elephant Butte Irrigation District.
New Mexico Attorney General Gary King expressed disappointment that the court did not throw out Texas’s case completely.