Wednesday, August 10, 2011

AG sues to protect New Mexico water

The Office of the New Mexico Attorney General Gary King today filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Reclamation asking the court for declaratory action and injunctive relief to protect water that lawfully belongs to New Mexico. According to Attorney General King, "The lawsuit is necessary to prevent the BOR from unilaterally releasing New Mexico's water stored in Elephant Butte Reservoir for delivery to Texas." In late July 2011, the BOR unilaterally reclassified 65,000 acre feet of New Mexico water on its accounting sheets so that that water could be made available for release to Texas. The position of the New Mexico Attorney General is that such action is illegal since the water was stored for the benefit of New Mexico, as verified by the Rio Grande Compact Commission in their review of Rio Grande operations and annual accounting. The primary purpose of the Rio Grande Compact Commission is to assure compliance with the Rio Grande Compact (1938), which provides an equitable allocation system for this shared interstate river. The three members of the Commission are the lead water officials that represent their respective States. "Protecting New Mexico's water is critical and while we continue to work cooperatively through the Rio Grande Compact Commission and seek resolution with federal officials, the recent actions of the BOR reflect a unilateral federal change in the Rio Grande Compact accounting procedures used by all three signatory states to the Compact (Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas) to release New Mexico's water for delivery to the El Paso County Water Improvement District in Texas, without New Mexico's approval," says AG King. "The BOR is seeking to 'reclassify' New Mexico's water that is lawfully stored and classified as New Mexico Credit Water, to a different designation so that it can be released to Texas. This action is inappropriate and must not be allowed. I believe it is only prudent to file this lawsuit to protect New Mexico's water."...more

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where is the State Engineer on this? D'Antonio is a weak sister when it come to our water rights. He lets the big boys take it and the little guys can suck air.
It is time for the governor to replace him.