2006 Rio Grande Compact Forum
The winter of 2005-2006 was one of the driest on record in the desert southwest. With little or no snowpack in the watersheds of the Rio Grande, a seriously inadequate runoff is expected. How willl New Mexico’s most populated region fare in the year ahead? What governs the sharing of scarce water in a time of crippling drought?
On Wednesday, April 26, 2006, the Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly, the University of New Mexico Water Resources Program and the New Mexico Water Dialogue sponsored a free public forum on the Rio Grande Compact, the interstate agreement that determines the amount of river water that Colorado, New Mexico and Texas will receive over the coming months.
New Mexico is party to eight interstate compacts that govern surface water flowing across its borders. One of those agreements, the Rio Grande Compact, guarantees a portion of the annual flow of the Rio Grande to Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, and establishes a limit on the amount of water we may use in the middle basin.
The Interstate Stream Commission, which oversees New Mexico’s compact compliance, is ultimately responsible for the distribution of a very limited water supply to a myriad of middle basin water users, with consideration for a host of federal, state and local mandates. How will that huge task be accomplished in 2006? Featured speakers include Estevan López, Director of the Interstate Stream Commission, who will offer an overall outline of Compact issues, and ISC Rio Grande Basin Manager Rolf Schmidt Petersen, will address the specific requirements for 2006. Through questions and public discussion, learn why the Rio Grande Compact is important to you, and how this year’s drought-driven decisions affect all basin residents.
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