HOUSE BILL 130
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT; CREATING A CLOUD SEEDING WEATHER MODIFICATION PILOT PROJECT IN THE NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE; REQUIRING REPORTING; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] CLOUD SEEDING WEATHER MODIFICATION PILOT PROJECT--CREATED--ADMINISTRATION.--
A. The New Mexico department of agriculture shall create, develop and administer a three-year "cloud seeding weather modification pilot project". The purpose of the pilot project is to demonstrate the efficacy of cloud seeding as a mechanism to mitigate the effects of climate change and drought.
B. The public interest, health, safety, welfare and necessity require scientific experimentation in the field of artificial nucleation, commonly known as cloud seeding, and scientific efforts to develop and increase natural precipitation of rain, snow and moisture in any form contained in the atmosphere within the state are encouraged in order to develop, conserve and protect the natural water resources of the state and to safeguard life and property.
C. The Roosevelt soil and water conservation district and the New Mexico department of agriculture shall enter into a joint powers agreement to conduct the cloud seeding weather modification pilot project to collect data and design evidence-based weather modification demonstration projects using current and evolving scientific methods of cloud seeding and test the relative benefits of those methods and the potential environmental risks.
D. All water derived as a result of cloud seeding shall be considered a part of the natural water supply in the same sense as if no cloud seeding project had been conducted, and any water so derived shall not be subject to new appropriations but shall be administered and distributed to users in accordance with existing water rights.
E. The act of cloud seeding pursuant to a project funded in whole or in part by the state of New Mexico or authorized by the New Mexico department of agriculture shall not be the basis of any claim of liability.
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] REPORTING.--The New Mexico department of agriculture shall:
A. establish forms and criteria for reporting data and recordkeeping and cause a permanent record to be kept of all pertinent data related to the cloud seeding weather modification pilot project or research related to other factors that may be affected by cloud seeding activities;
B. report annually the results of the cloud seeding weather modification pilot project to the appropriate interim committee; and
C. make a final report to the governor and legislature making recommendations for improvements to and the necessity of continuing the cloud seeding project.
SECTION 3. APPROPRIATION.--One million nine hundred eighty thousand dollars ($1,980,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the board of regents of New Mexico state university for expenditure in fiscal years 2025 through 2027 for the New Mexico department of agriculture to develop and administer a cloud seeding weather modification pilot project. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2027 shall revert to the general fund.
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