State lawmakers wade into water battle

Aug 28, 2012

A dispute over New Mexico's water future along the Rio Grande was front and center at a hearing before state lawmakers.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that around about 30 lawmakers from around the state met Monday in Truth or Consequences to listening to opposing sides of a major Lower Rio Grande Basin legal dispute.

One side says New Mexico river water is being handed away, improperly, to Texas. Another side says New Mexico groundwater is being preserved, rightfully, for use by Dona Ana County irrigators.

The debate centered upon a 2008 legal settlement between Dona Ana County and El Paso County irrigators.

But New Mexico Attorney General Gary King filed a federal lawsuit last year, claiming the agreement undermines New Mexico's water future along the Rio Grande.