History of the Organization
The Middle Rio Grande Water Advocates was founded as the Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly in 1997. The Assembly’s purpose was to conduct regional water planning for the New Mexico Counties of Sandoval, Bernalillo and Valencia through an open, inclusive, and participatory process. The objective was to achieve the common interests of the people and stakeholders of the region for a sustainable water future that balances water use with renewable supply.
The Water Assembly compiled an extensive archive of planning and informational data – water budget, regional and sub-regional plans, water action evaluations, informational session presentations, etc.
Once the Middle Rio Grande Regional Water Plan was completed and accepted by the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission in 2004, the Assembly’s focus became encouraging implementation of the 43 specific recommendations in the Plan – through conducting annual public convocations, informational forums, and advocacy to local governments and state agencies. Implementation of the plan was never officially considered or undertaken by any entity with the authority and capability of doing so.
In 2017, the Assembly recognized that its convening role was not helping cause needed reform of New Mexico’s water governance – both statewide and in the Middle Rio Grande region. The Board decided we should change our focus to advocating for water governance reform, statewide and for the Middle Rio Grande, from big picture and action perspectives. The Board voted to change our name accordingly from Water Assembly to Water Advocates.