Agua es Vida! Do your Part!

Ti2024 Legislature and Governor not paying attention to Water! - 1

We are deep into a serious water crisis. New Mexico's 2024 Legislature and Governor are NOT DOING THEIR ESSENTIAL PARTS!

These are the parts that only the state can do.  

Only the state has the constitutional authority to protect New Mexico's water. Only the State has the constitutional responsibility.

The Governor and the 2024 Legislature misperceive that State administration of paper water rights and permits with no management of dramatically excessive wet water use is sufficient.

They have ignored the unanimous recommendations written by the highly qualified and diverse 2022 Water Policy and Infrastructure Task Force members, just as they have ignored all NM Town Halls on Water.  Without leadership's support of implementation, the consensus reached by the diverse expert and citizen task force members will become only words representing yet another wasted water governance reform effort.

They NEVER give the Office of the State Engineer, the Interstate Stream Commission, the Environment Department, nor New Mexico's premier water science agency at NM Tech, what they need to do their jobs. Which other huge enterprise has succeeded while ignoring its experts and planners only to get caught flat-footed when it's too late?

They make agencies work with ancient, barely running computer systems and information management tools. They tell the agencies to just get by without resources for modernization.  In the next breath they complain or demand better service. Nobody succeeds when Interstate Stream Commission staff have to drive from Santa to Roswell to review water rights files that exist only on paper. 

They show no concern regarding how much groundwater we have left after a century of hard pumping.  They misguide us saying that future technology to create hugely expensive new and infeasible water supplies with a massive carbon footprint to serve few will save New Mexico's economy while ignoring the basics of water management that all of required, and to much, much greater benefit.

Top elected leaders failure to understand and act to fund true water priorities MUST STOP NOW.

Call your legislators.  Call the Governor's office.  

Tell them water funding can't wait, because its a crisis.

New Mexico's literal survival depends on recurring funding for staff to do the essential jobs, modernization to improve staff productivity, and at least $500 million to accelerate high priority efforts.

If they don't believe water in New Mexico is a crisis, if they really do believe a speculative polluted water treatment plant for oil field wastewater or from saline aquifers without good planning and an independent professional feasibility study is progress, then most New Mexicans or their heirs will become climate refugees. New Mexico will evaporate most of its people.

There is so much we can do, so much that will work to dramatically increase our resilience and sustainability in this place that we love. It's much easier to live well on less water but it will require hard choices.  Look at the bright side.  There is no way to cope with the raging floods and rising seas that other humans must flee from.

It's time to show that love with your action.

Please answer this CALL to ACTION

Respectfully demand the 2024 Legislature and the Governor fund the basic water governance priorities recommended by the unanimous vote or strong consensus of the State's 2022 Water Policy and Infrastructure Task Force.  

  1. Expand staff positions at the Office of the State Engineer, the Interstate Stream Commission, the Environment Department, and the Bureau of Geology as the agencies have requested. Provide state agencies with resources they are requesting to help New Mexicans face New Mexico's water crisis and implement solutions.

  2. Fully Fund Accelerated Implementation of the 2019 Water Data Act as recommended by the September 2023 annual report to the Legislature.  Additionally, authorize and fund staff, which three of the four water data-owning agencies were blocked from requesting. Water data is a prerequisite for informed water planning, says the 2023 Water Security Planning Act.

  3. Fully Fund Accelerated Implementation of the aquifer mapping, research, and web based groundwater monitoring program across the groundwater basins of New Mexico.  New Mexicans deserve to know how much water is left after a century of hard pumping! They don't want to suffer the fate of Portales.  We need the 2024 Legislature and the Governor to prevent other New Mexicans from suffering the fate of Portales, NM. Portales failed to pay attention. Other areas lack valid data to pay attention to.

  4. Fund regional water planning by the regions, as mandated by the 2023 Water Security Planning Act.  That landmark water planning reform law passed the 2023 Legislature unanimously.  However, the 2023 Legislature's budget denied the Interstate Stream Commmission and water planning regions the funding required to implement it. The 2024 Legislature's budget contains nothing for regions required to organize themselves to do the hard work the Legislature has assigned to them. What hubris! 

  5. Require the Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission to build the Water Task Force Recommendations into their strategic plans.

  6. Put hundreds of millions of dollars away in a More Arid Days Fund.

Without Water, there is Nothing.


Phil King, P.E., Ph.D., on our unaddressed opportunities for a better water future, and dire warnings for New Mexicans.


2024 Legislature Priority Water Appropriations.

NM Water Ambassadors, members of the 2022 New Mexico Water Policy and Infrastructure Task Force who are not state government executives, established its funding and legislative priorities for the 2024 Legislature.  

Check out the live H2O Report Card to see if you think the 2024 Legislature and the Governor are Protecting New Mexico's Water.  Hint: one week before the 2024 Legislature is over, Water is being disrespected and disregarded.

Write or call your legislator today. We must stop current uses that are wildly unsustainable.  These excessive, unaffordable uses are rapidly depleting New Mexico's groundwater and drying our rivers.


Editorial: Elected leaders who ignore our water future are not doing their essential parts. They are not providing New Mexico with the leadership that its future requires. They are not even trying to do urgently needed work that only the State of New Mexico has the constitutional authority and responsibility to do. New Mexico does not have a secure water future without putting these essential parts into place.  Without Water, There is Nothing.

A leader that knows the facts Dr. Phil King and Dr. Ladona Clayton, both NM Water Ambassadors, very clearly describe, and then fails to act, is too venal, corrupt, or cynical to lead. Therefore, the Water Advocates, will presume that New Mexico's elected legislators that failed to vote to fund water during the 2024 Legislature need only be educated so they will be self-motivated to act. Let's use that as our working assumption for the 2024 "legislative interim" as we prepare for the 2025 Legislature and to measure the water funding and policy votes taken.

Why is it so hard to get traction on sound recommendations and expert warnings? It is crucial that the State of New Mexico pivot to being sound water management and planning for the 21st century. Taking water for granted is wrong for our climate and water realities.  Denying those realities is terribly wrong.  


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

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. 


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

Think Water - Act Now
Think Water - Act Now

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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.  

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