Governor's Susana Martinez's declaration makes it easier for communities, farmers and ranchers to secure federal funding. It also kicks into action the New Mexico Drought Task Force headed by the State Engineer. The panel is to make recommendations on how to mitigate problems that stem from persistent drought.
Last year, the second driest year on record, 90 percent of the state faced severe drought conditions at some point. Despite some recent precipitation, the Governor points out that it may take several years of significantly higher than normal levels of rain and snow pack for reservoir storage to recover.