Water Advocates for New Mexico and the Middle Rio Grande

We seek to be a catalyst that, through work with others, will create transformative statewide water governance policy enabling New Mexico's successful adaptation to water scarcity, with a special focus on the Middle Rio Grande.


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 additional material 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 a true point of inflection, leading to accelerating and successful adaptation to life in New Mexico with less water.


The Water Advocates mission is to advocate for a balanced, equitable, and resilient water future for the Middle Rio Grande (Otowi bridge to Elephant Butte Dam), and statewide, through public education and engagement anc civic participation, with urgent insistence on initiating and accelerating the transformative change necessary for New Mexico's successful adaptation to increasing water scarcity.

Strategy for Intervention/Theory of Change

We  bring transformative change to water resources governance by:

  1. convening or participating in problem-solving, multi-stakeholder discussions and structured processes,
  2. civic engagement with the legislature, state agencies and local governments to identify problems and recommend solutions, 
  3. creating broader public awareness and knowledge of water-related facts, problems, and solutions,
  4. creating and building momentum for transformative change through our actions and civic participation with others, 
  5. incorporating facts, fairness, equity, stewardship, inclusion, and the urgency of our water crisis in everything we do.
MRGWA Theory of Change
Screenshot 2023-06-07 at 6.58.23 PM


The Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly incorporated in 1997 as a grassroots, all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit with the purpose to prepare the 2004 regional water plan for the Albuquerque reach of the Rio Grande. We changed our name and our focus in 2017 to Water Advocates, because dialogue was not causing progress. We are the only nongovernmental organization in New Mexico focused on sustainable use of our water and water governance reform. Read about our history here.

Officers are elected by the Board of Directors at an annual business meeting held mid year.

Directors representing advocacy interest groups (12) and at-large directors recruited to improve the Water Advocates generational and ethnic diversity are elected by the board. The Board of Directors meets quarterly, or as needed.  Board meeting information is posted on the Events page.

Bylaws were amended by the Board of Directors at the board meeting on February 9, 2021.

Middle Rio Grande Basin from Otowi Bridge Downstream to Elephant Butte Dam

Map copied from New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission website

Screen Shot 2023-01-15 at 10.58.04 AM



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