HOUSE BILL 200
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2021
Matthew McQueen and Mimi Stewart and Nathan P. Small
and Siah Correa Hemphill
RELATING TO WATER; AMENDING THE NEW MEXICO UNIT FUND; DIRECTING THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION TO CONSULT WITH THE WATER TRUST BOARD ON FUNDING WATER UTILIZATION PROJECTS IN THE SOUTHWEST WATER PLANNING REGION OF NEW MEXICO; DIRECTING THE WATER TRUST BOARD TO EVALUATE AND RECOMMEND PROJECTS TO THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION; DISALLOWING THE USE OF FUNDS FOR THE NEW MEXICO UNIT.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 72-14-45 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2011, Chapter 99, Section 1) is amended to read:
"72-14-45. NEW MEXICO UNIT FUND--PURPOSE-- APPROPRIATION.--
A. The "New Mexico unit fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of money distributed to the state pursuant to Paragraphs (2)(D)(I) and (ii) of Section 403(f) of the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968, as amended by Section 107(a) of the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act, Public Law 108-451, December 10, 2004; other money made available to the fund pursuant to Section 212 of the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act, Public Law 108-451, December 10, 2004; appropriations; grants; and donations or bequests to the fund.
B. Income from the fund shall be credited to the fund. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund. Money in the fund shall not be transferred, other than through an intra-agency transfer, to any other fund.
C. Money in the fund shall be administered by the interstate stream commission and is appropriated to the interstate stream commission for expenditure in fiscal year 2012 and subsequent fiscal years to comply with the provisions of the federal laws cited in Subsection A of this section. [Those provisions of federal law establish that the purpose of] Money in the fund [is] shall be used to pay the costs of [the New Mexico unit or other] water utilization [alternatives] projects to meet water supply demands in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico that encompasses Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties, as determined by the interstate stream commission in consultation with the water trust board, which shall be the successor to the southwest New Mexico water study group. [or its successor, including costs associated with planning and environmental compliance activities and environmental mitigation and restoration] Money in the fund shall not be used to evaluate, plan or construct the New Mexico unit. The water trust board shall evaluate projects, including their environmental impacts, proposed within the southwest water planning region of New Mexico and shall recommend projects to the interstate stream commission, which shall have final decision-making authority over which projects are funded. Money in the fund shall not be expended for any purpose other than the purpose provided in this section. The interstate stream commission may adopt rules it deems necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.
D. On or before November 15 of each year, the interstate stream commission shall report to the appropriate legislative interim committee dealing with water and natural resources and to the legislative finance committee on:
(1) the status of the New Mexico unit fund;
(2) the distribution of money from the New Mexico unit fund to implement the purpose of the fund pursuant to Subsection C of this section; and
(3) proposed uses and levels of funding projected for the following fiscal year.
E. Expenditures from the fund shall be made on warrants signed by the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the director of the interstate stream commission upon the delegation of authority by the interstate stream commission."
SECTION 2. Section 72-4A-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2001, Chapter 164, Section 5, as amended) is amended to read:
"72-4A-5. BOARD--DUTIES.--The board shall:
A. adopt rules governing terms and conditions of grants or loans recommended by the board for appropriation by the legislature from the water project fund, giving priority to projects that have been identified as being urgent to meet the needs of a regional water planning area that has a completed regional water plan that has been accepted by the interstate stream commission; that have matching contributions from federal or local funding sources available; and that have obtained all requisite state and federal permits and authorizations necessary to initiate the project;
B. authorize qualifying water projects to the authority that are for:
(1) storage, conveyance or delivery of water to end users;
(2) implementation of federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 collaborative programs;
(3) restoration and management of watersheds;
(4) flood prevention; or
(5) water conservation or recycling,
treatment or reuse of water as provided by law; [and]
C. create a drought strike team to coordinate responses to emergency water shortages caused by drought conditions; and
D. evaluate projects, including their environmental impacts, and recommend projects to the interstate stream commission pursuant to the provisions of Section 72-14-45 NMSA 1978."
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