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NM Attorney General says water battle with Texas is critical

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says his office needs more money for a legal battle with Texas over management of the Rio Grande.

Balderas told a House committee on Friday that he wants to dedicate more resources to the case, which is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Texas sued New Mexico in 2013, claiming the state failed to deliver water as required under the Rio Grande Compact.

The federal government intervened and said groundwater pumping in New Mexico is tapping the shallow aquifer that should drain back into the river and flow to Texas.

Balderas says the lawsuit is critical and that the federal government is trying to take control of the water rights.

His office has requested more than $18 million in general funding for the 2016 fiscal year.