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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Vaughn
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
2/1/2006
HB 685
SHORT TITLE Sacramento Mountain Hydrogeologic Study
SB
ANALYST Earp
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
$1,252.5 Non-Recurring
General Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
Relates to Senate Bill 565 and multiple House and Senate capital outlay requests
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Higher Education Department (HED)
Office of State Engineer (OSE)
New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Bill
House Bill 685 appropriates $1,252,500 from the general fund to Board of Regents of New Mex-
ico State University for the Otero Soil and Water Conservation District to fund a hydrogeologic
study of the Sacramento Mountains, contingent upon the study being coordinated with the Bu-
reau of Geology and Mineral Resources and the Office of the State Engineer (OSE).
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
The appropriation of $1,252,500 contained in this bill is a non-recurring expense to the general
fund. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2010 shall
revert to the general fund.
It is noted that $47,500 was appropriated for this purpose through Laws 2005, Chapter 34 (Sen-
ate Bill 190).
pg_0002
House Bill 685 Page
2
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
This proposal was not included among the special program funding requests submitted by New
Mexico State University to the Higher Education Department (HED) for review. Consequently,
this proposal has not been included in the HED fiscal year 2007 funding recommendations to the
Legislature.
ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLICATIONS
NMSU would bear responsibility for managing the appropriation made through this legislation,
while the Otero soil and water conservation district would be primarily responsible for project
administration.
CONFLICT, DUPLICATION, COMPANIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP
House Bill 685 is closely related to Senate Bill 565 which would appropriate $1.2 million for this
purpose. There are also multiple capital requests under consideration relative to this proposal.
OTHER SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
The Otero Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) has communicated to NMDA that the
proposed study is complementary to efforts of the OSE, USGS, and Bureau of Geology and
Mineral Resources, and will provide additional information on the fate, distribution and avail-
ability of water in the Sacramento Mountains. A first phase of the project was funded by the leg-
islature last year. Otero SWCD has been working closely with the Bureau of Geology and Min-
eral Resources on the project, and OSE has been included in stakeholder meetings as part of the
coordination process.
The OSE reports that the Sacramento Mountains serve as the primary source of recharge for the
Roswell, Tularosa and Salt basins. Surface and groundwater flows contribute to interstate deliv-
eries on the Pecos River. The Salt Basin is being considered as an important source of potential
water supply. Alamogordo and other communities rely on water supplies originating from the
Sacramento Mountains. The hydrogeology of the area is complex and needs further evaluation.
Surface water supplies are reported to be diminishing. Watershed changes have occurred over
time and may be contributing to changes in water availability. Additional information on the
hydrogeology is important to manage the water resources of the Sacramento Mountains and ad-
jacent basins. Watershed management studies, where appropriate, would be useful to evaluate
effects of change in watershed on water yield. OSE indicates that, due to complexity and size of
the area, the appropriation may be inadequate.
DKE/mt