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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Lujan, B.
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
2-1-06
2/8/06 HB 495/aHAGC
SHORT TITLE
ACEQUIA EDUCATION, ASSISTANCE &
PLANNING
SB
ANALYST Hadwiger
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
$475.0
Recurring
General Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Department of Finance and Administration (DFA)
Office of the State Engineer (OSE)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of the HAGC Amendment
The House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee amendment to House Bill 495 would
allow expenditure of the appropriation in FY07 and FY08. Any unexpended or unencumbered
balance remaining at the end of FY08 would revert to the general fund.
Synopsis of Original Bill
House Bill 495 appropriates $475 thousand from the general fund to the Local Government Divi-
sion (LGD) of the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) in FY07 for acequia educa-
tion, technical, and planning.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
The appropriation of $475 thousand contained in this bill is a recurring expense to the general
fund. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of FY07 would revert to
the general fund.
pg_0002
House Bill 495/aHAGC Page 2
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
DFA indicated the funds in this bill would be used
$150,000 for a service learning project that focuses on acequia history, governance, and
water management. The project will be aligned with state educational standards and
benchmarks and focus on communities with high concentrations of acequias such as
Taos, Las Vegas, Mora, and Penasco.
$75,000 for promoting revitalization of small-scale agriculture and local food production;
protecting acequia communities from emerging demands to transfer agricultural water
rights from their regions of origin; instituting a comprehensive public education program
about acequias involving various state agencies, museums, public schools, and higher
education; and, engaging youth and community members in acequia preservation and
conservation projects and agricultural revitalization.
$250,000 for continuation of technical assistance by the New Mexico Acequia Associa-
tion to local acequias in the areas of Acequia Governance Training on Application of
Geographic Information Systems to Acequia Water Management Training on Alternative
Dispute Resolution Infrastructure Planning
DFA explained that unprecedented demands for acequia water due to such pressures as urbaniza-
tion, drought, and climate change challenge their ability to sustain community-based traditions
and water management practices. This bill will help update acequia bylaws, rules and regula-
tions so that they incorporate various provisions of state law such as voting and election re-
quirements, open meetings act compliance, easements definitions, and other issues; assist
acequias to more actively manage and protect water rights that are part of their systems; provide
acequias the ability to develop databases and maps compatible with the data used by the State
Engineer; increase their capacity to provide a robust dispute resolution process to alleviate the
costly burden of litigation; and assist acequias in developing Infrastructure Capital Improvement
Plans to actively seek state and federal funding for infrastructure improvement.
The HAGC amendment allows more flexibility to spend the funds over two fiscal years.
ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLICATIONS
DFA already has an existing contract for $200,000 with the NM Acequia Association to provide
acequia education, assistance and planning. The contract could be amended to add new monies
and duties.
DH/mt:yr