Water Funding by the 2024 Legislature is Essential. Please tell your legislators.

Urgent Funding Requests for New Mexico’s Water Future

Introduction The Ogallala Land and Water Conservancy and Water Advocates for New Mexico and the Middle Rio Grande jointly propose a vital funding list to the 2024 Legislature. This list was jointly prepared by Dr. Ladona Clayton, Executive Director of the Ogalalla Conservancy, and me.  It aims to help secure New Mexico’s much more resilient water future because the status quo leads to disaster. Literally.

Gaining Legislative Support As this list gains traction among legislators, it’s crucial that public support for these appropriations builds. We included the first three requests to amplify essential agency needs.

Amplifying Agency Requests

  • Capacity Enhancement: The State Engineer’s November 7th report to the Water and Natural Resources Committee highlighted the need for new staff to address water scarcity and aridification.
  • Water Data Act Fulfillment: Implementing the 2023 Water Security Planning Act hinges on the full realization of the 2019 Water Data Act. We seek to amplify and support funding for essential water data systems and personnel.
  • Aquifer Mapping: To understand our remaining groundwater reserves, it is essential New Mexico accelerate the existing but to date poorly funded inadequately aquifer mapping program.  This program will provide answers to two fundamental questions?  
    • After a century of pumping, how much groundwater do we have left?  
    • What are the groundwater exhaustion or excessive pumping trends across New Mexico. New Mexico relies on groundwater more than any other state, yet has systematically failed to address the questions that are vital to planning for water supply resilience in almost every region of New Mexico..

Supporting Regional Initiatives

  • Regional Water Planning: We recommend grants for regional collaborations, especially where water scarcity is most urgent, to prepare for future planning and action as set forth in the landmark 2023 Water Security Planning Act.  Presenting information about this act was the theme of all “3rd Thursday evening” monthly workshops produced by the Water Advocates in 2023.
  • Incentivizing Collaboration: A new fund is proposed to provide powerful incentives for regions to prepare prioritized water adaptation strategies, as required by the 2023 Act.

Strategic Implementation

  • Task Force Recommendations: A special appropriation is requested for the OSE/ISC to integrate the 2022 Water Task Force consensus recommendations into the agencies’ strategic plans or provide justifications if they reject the recommendations or will implement alternatives.

Call to Citizen Lobbyists: This information is shared to encourage citizen lobbyists to voice their support for these requests. The first three items, amplifying agency requests, are particularly critical.

Legislative Session EngagementThe Water Advocates will inform subscribers about opportunities to engage during the legislative session. We urge everyone to take action because water is life, and everyone must play their part. Contact your legislators to ensure the 2024 New Mexico Legislature fulfills its essential role.

Feedback and Action We welcome your feedback and comments on all Water Advocates blog posts. Your voice is crucial in advocating for these fundamental appropriations. Together, we can ensure that New Mexico takes decisive steps toward a sustainable water future.


  1. Susan Gorman on January 15, 2024 at 2:13 pm

    Suppose I call my senator and representative, what is the simple message to emphasize? I realize that the needs are complex and urgent, but citizen lobbyists need a simple message.

    Are there specific bills that we must advocate for?
    I am attending a candidate forum with Bill Tallman and Natalie Figueroa on January 20.

  2. Dewette Decker on February 8, 2024 at 11:18 am

    Susan G., Et Al,
    I copied this from an email sent 2/8/24 from NMWaterAdvocates.org It is an explanation and script to help talk to your legislators
    “If you are not able to join us person, please CALL your legislators. Find them and their phone numbers HERE. Call as many of the members of the Senate Finance Committee as you can. Focus on the Chair Senator Munoz and Vice-Chair Nancy Rodriguez. You can use the following suggested script:

    “Hello, My name is [Say your First and Last Name]. I am calling today to request that you prioritize funding for water planning and scientifically based water projects. We are at a tipping point and funding water now can prevent dire consequences of water insecurity in the near future. Please vote to fund: staffing our water agencies, mapping our aquifers, implementing the Water Data Act, and implementing the Water Security Planning Act

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