Introductory Report on Task Force Recommendations

The Middle Rio Grande Water Advocates sponsored a one-hour virtual meeting on New Mexico water policy on Thursday, November 3, at 7:00 pm.

Purpose:  The State Engineer, as directed by the Governor, convened a Water Task Force to provide water policy recommendations. The Water Advocates presented this informational meeting for its members and friends to introduce and promote the Water Task Force’s substantive set of consensus recommendations. These recommendations are critical to ensure a balanced water future in New Mexico.

Water Task Force members voted unanimously for almost all recommendations. Their full report will be available by Thanksgiving.

Why:  New Mexico must pivot to face its more arid future. The Water Task Force consensus recommendations show the way. Required changes will take several years to implement. New Mexico needs to begin in 2023.

How:  New Mexicans need the 2023 Legislature and the Governor to authorize and provide resources to tackle the problems and implement solutions. We must implement a planned multi-year program to face our water future to improve water governance and water supply resilience. We must begin in 2023, putting first things first.

Who:  Our panelists were three of the twenty-nine Water Task Force members.

  • Hannah Riseley-White, Deputy Director, New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission
  • Dr. Ladona Clayton, Executive Director, Ogallala Land and Water Conservancy
  • Norm Gaume. President, Middle Rio Grande Water Advocates

Hannah is a member of the task force executive committee. Ladona and Norm are co-leads of the task force water management and planning work group.

Format:  10-minute presentation by each panelist followed by moderated questions and answers. The webinar ended at 8:00 pm.  

Optional:  Water Advocates board members continued until 8:30 pm to discuss preparations for the 2023 Legislature, including an update on proposed bills.  Webinar participants were invited.

For more information, about the Task Force Recommendations, please review the State Engineer’s handout presented October 27, 2022, to the legislature’s Water and Natural Resources Committee.  The legislature’s video recording also is available.  The task force presentation to WNRC and committee questions begin at 1:41:30.