Our Land’s Laura Paskus is a remarkable journalist with a unique New Mexico talent for telling its environmental and water stories. Laura interviewed Adrian Ogelsby, Director of the Utton Center at the UNM School of Law, Hannah Riseley-White, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission Director, Jason Casuga, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District CEO, and Norm Gaume, President, Water Advocates, in 2023, regarding the Rio Grande and New Mexico groundwater.

Click on the names above to view the video recordings at newmexicopbs.org

Listen to Laura's questions and their responses to learn about the state’s water challenges, the importance of interstate river compacts, the possibilities of protecting water for rivers and future generations of New Mexicans, and how people can become involved in water planning. 

Sen. Carrie Hamblen on the New Mexico Legislature and Water Advocacy

3/24/24 President's note: After hearing the Conservation Voters of New Mexico's reasons for selecting New Mexico State Senator Carrie Hamblen, D-Dona Ana for their top Luminaria Award for her climate and energy policy leadership and listening to the senator's acceptance speech, I invited her while she was still at the event to be the featured guest for a Water Advocates 3rd Thursday evening workshop and speaker series. She readily agreed.

I traveled to Las Cruces to interview her for our March workshop.  Sen. Hamblen knew we Water Advocates were seeking advice regarding how to get the legislature to recognize worsening water scarcity as New Mexico's most fundamental, existential problems.

Her insight and observations and motivation for public service impressed and humbled me. Her advice and observations demonstrate what the Fulbright Scholars concluded last year. "Research continues to find problems and propose solutions that don’t reach the people." The legislators are volunteer citizens, unpaid, without staff and their own interests.  They are the people that the research does not reach."

Senator Hamblen gave us valuable insights into what we citizens and state water agencies must do this interim, and who is most important to talk to: the appropriation committee members. I'll have much more on this soon, In our forthcoming April 2024 News.

The interview audio recording with audience questions and answers is available for download here.  The video version is available here

Interactive workshops are scheduled for the third Thursday of each month (except December) at 6:30pm.

We’re Still in a Heap of Trouble

By Bob Wessely | May 22, 2024

The inconvenient truth is New Mexico’s economic well-being depends critically upon water. We are already in one of the driest periods in the last millennium and changing climate will make it worse.

Several statewide issues foretell slow train wrecks and do need attention. However, there is one water issue in the Middle Rio Grande that is urgent, potentially a fast train wreck. This article describes that urgent issue.

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From the President’s Desk: Addressing New Mexico’s Water Crisis by Adequately Funding the Prerequisites to Data-Driven Water Governance

By Norm Gaume | May 8, 2024

This ongoing mismanagement of vital water data hampers effective decision-making needed to address the state’s water crisis.
New Mexico is at a crossroads. Without a significant shift towards a water governance framework that recognizes and integrates hydrologic and climate realities with actionable data, parts of the state risk becoming uninhabitable. This shift requires a departure from the Legislature’s practice of passing laws without funding their implementation. It is imperative that the Governor’s Office and the Legislature fully commit to funding the necessary changes outlined in the 2019 Water Data Act and the 2023 Water Security Planning Act. Only through such transformative changes can New Mexico hope to secure a sustainable water future for all its regions and residents.

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Staring into New Mexico’s Water Supply Abyss

By Mike Marcus | May 6, 2024

Water managers along the Middle Rio Grande (MRG) and across New Mexico increasingly feel as if they are staring into an abyss of water shortages for increasing numbers of users who depend on water supplies for drinking, for economic growth, and even for the survival of our present-day economy.  The reliable supply of NM’s surface…

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NM Court Stops Augustin Plains Ranch Water Grab

By Ann McCartney | May 1, 2024

At a momentous hearing on April 5, 2024, more than 100 community members from Catron County crowded the court room and hallways of the Seventh Judicial District court in Reserve to hear oral argument on the Augustin Plains Ranch LLC’s continuing and relentless requests to mine and hoard 54,000 acre-feet of water a year from…

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From the President’s Desk: Water Policy Progress and Tipping Points

By Norm Gaume | April 10, 2024

On April 9, 2024, I witnessed a significant step forward in local government’s approach to water policies crucial for New Mexico’s future. Bernalillo County elected officials and staff have clearly acknowledged in a draft high-level plan that water poses a constraint. This marks the first official acknowledgment of hydrologic reality in Bernalillo County in a long time.

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Los Lunas – Niagara Bottled Water

By Valencia Water Watchers | April 3, 2024

NM Acequia Association came bringing signs that read, “Agua es Vida”  and brightly painted shovels painted with the patron saint of the acequias, San Ysidro, which they bring out when there are times of drought. Dabi Garcia said, “This is a time when our community is under threat.” He then sang a traditional acequia song, keeping the beat on the shovel handle.

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Water Advocates Vision

We envision a balanced water future for New Mexico in which we equitably adapt to climate change and are stewards of our water, thereby preserving our diverse cultures, economy, food production, and natural ecosystems.

We envision that after the 2025 legislative session makes major progress in improving New Mexico's water governance policy and appropriations, we will recognize the 2023 Legislature's unanimous approval of the Water Security Planning Act SB337 (2023), authorizing the new statewide water resilience planning program, as the tipping point leading to accelerating and successful adaptation to life in New Mexico with less water.

Click here for more information on the Water Advocates vision, mission, strategies, and theory of change.  

Explore the Website:

Go to the EVENTS page for announcements of current water happenings.  Read about our PROJECTS.  Sign up for our Email Discussion Forum on the CONTACT page.  Find links to key water information and organizations on the RESOURCES page.  Learn about water management ISSUES. You can also see/hear recordings of previous conferences.



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