Water Updates Up and Down the Rio Grande

21 Mar

La Jicarita

By KAY MATTHEWS

On February 27 the federal government filed a motion to intervene in the U.S. Supreme Court Case No. 141, State of Texas v. State of New Mexico and State of Colorado by asking the court to restrict groundwater pumping in the Mesilla and Hatch valleys, essentially taking the side of Texas. The Solicitor General alleges that New Mexico is taking shallow groundwater that if left in place would flow back into the Rio Grande and into Texas. The motion states that the only entity in New Mexico that is permitted, under the Rio Grande Compact, to receive delivery of Rio Grande Project water is Elephant Butte Irrigation District (EBID), which through the Bureau of Reclamation is owned by the federal government, whose interest is in ensuring that those delivery requirements are met.

LowerRioGrande-450In reality, delivery requirements cannot be met because of drought (and climate change over the…

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