Water and Natural Resource Policy

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New Mexico has the fourth lowest annual average precipitation in the nation.  Increases in population and development, in a lingering drought, will put great demand upon the state’s natural resources.  While the state’s water resources have been fully appropriated, demand for water resources continues to grow.

Irrigators hold approximately 90 percent of the state’s surface water rights.  Other stakeholders interested in using surface water supplies must consider agricultural interests in any attempt to obtain water.  Alternative uses of surface water include municipal, industrial,  and recreation water to meet Endangered Species Act requirements.  Also included are interstate compact delivery obligations and tribal water rights claims.  As competition for this precious resource grows, NMDA’s participation in the water dialogue is critical to the viability of agriculture.  NMDA serves on boards, commissions, and task forces to ensure agricultural interests are considered in regulatory actions and state programs concerning water and other natural resources.

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