SENATE MEMORIAL 36
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2016
REQUESTING THE OFFICE OF THE STATE ENGINEER, THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION AND REGIONAL STAKEHOLDERS TO STUDY OPTIONS FOR ADDRESSING WATER SUPPLY ISSUES IN NORTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO.
WHEREAS, New Mexico is located in the great American southwestern desert; and
WHEREAS, the effects of climate change, unpredictable weather patterns and water shortages threaten the economy and overall well-being and safety of New Mexico farmers, ranchers, city residents and rural residents alike; and
WHEREAS, for 2015, precipitation was near to above normal across all of New Mexico but spring snowmelt and subsequent runoff started early and was well below normal for the fifth year in a row, according to the United States drought monitor for New Mexico; and
WHEREAS, the twelve-month period from January through December 2015 ranked as the fifth-wettest year on record, the wettest since 1986; and
WHEREAS, 2015 contrasts sharply with 2014, when drought conditions were considered extremely dry, with January 2014 considered the driest January on record since 1895; and
WHEREAS, unpredictable weather patterns, such as those in 2015, further highlight the need to be able to store and transport water in particularly dry years; and
WHEREAS, large regional projects that increase the ability to store and import water from other areas have proven to be an effective approach to addressing water shortage issues, helping communities around the state alleviate or mitigate some of their water shortage issues; and
WHEREAS, large projects, such as the Ute water pipeline project in eastern New Mexico and the Navajo-Gallup water supply project, have been planned for years but have only recently begun construction to help store water and import it to areas of the state that desperately need it;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the office of the state engineer, the interstate stream commission and water stakeholders in northeastern New Mexico be requested to study and develop ways of addressing water shortage issues in northeastern New Mexico, including identifying potential water sources outside of the region and developing a pipeline to some other large-scale regional water project to bring water to the area; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the office of the state engineer, the interstate stream commission, the county commissioners of Guadalupe, San Miguel, Mora and Colfax counties and the cities of Raton, Las Vegas and Santa Rosa.
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