SENATE BILL 239
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
RELATING TO WATER INFRASTRUCTURE; CREATING THE ACEQUIA BUREAU IN THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION; PROVIDING POWERS AND DUTIES; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of Chapter 72, Article 14 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] ACEQUIA BUREAU--CREATED--POWERS--DUTIES.--
A. The "acequia bureau" is created within the interstate stream commission. The director of the interstate stream commission shall appoint a chief of the bureau.
B. The acequia bureau shall:
(1) administer funding for acequia capital improvement projects;
(2) coordinate with state and federal agencies to develop cost-sharing arrangements;
(3) facilitate communication with acequias and community ditches on the programs administered by the interstate stream commission, including infrastructure funding and state water planning; and
(4) report annually before October 1 to the appropriate legislative interim committee on acequia infrastructure funding administered by the bureau."
SECTION 2. Section 72-14-24.1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2019, Chapter 169, Section 1) is amended to read:
"72-14-24.1. ACEQUIA AND COMMUNITY DITCH INFRASTRUCTURE FUND--CREATED.--
A. The "acequia and community ditch infrastructure fund" is created in the state treasury and shall be administered by the [interstate stream commission] acequia bureau. The fund consists of money transferred from the New Mexico irrigation works construction fund and interest accruing to the fund. Disbursements from the fund shall be made by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the [director of the interstate stream commission] chief of the acequia bureau or the [director's] chief's authorized representative. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall revert to the New Mexico irrigation works construction fund.
B. Money in the fund is appropriated to the interstate stream commission to provide funding for the planning, engineering design or construction of irrigation works of acequias or community ditches, including dams, reservoirs, diversions, ditches, flumes or other appurtenances, for the purposes of restoration, repair, improvement of irrigation efficiency or protection from floods.
C. The [interstate stream commission] acequia bureau shall:
(1) in consultation with the acequia commission and the New Mexico acequia association, develop guidelines and criteria for program eligibility, applications and selection requirements;
(2) prioritize the provision of funding based on project readiness;
(3) review acequia or community ditch plans and specifications and inspect completed projects; and
(4) report biannually to the acequia commission on the progress of projects funded through the fund and the expenditure of money from the fund.
D. As used in this section, "fund" means the acequia and community ditch infrastructure fund."
SECTION 3. APPROPRIATION.--Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the interstate stream commission for expenditure in fiscal year 2024 and subsequent fiscal years to carry out the purposes of the acequia bureau. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
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