Rio Grande farmers sue irrigation district

Sep 28, 2012

A group of Rio Grande valley farmers who say the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District illegally cut their water supplies during dry years are suing the district.

The group says the district is failing to follow the state Constitution's mandate that water rights are allocated from oldest to newest in lean times. They argue that means during dry years those with the earliest rights gets first crack at the water.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/VTOlQj ) the district curtailed water deliveries to all its farm users in August after deciding that the pain should be shared equally.

Farmer and former district board member Janet Jarratt says she's suing to protect her land's value.

A district spokesman referred questions to the agency's attorney, but he couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.