Action Delayed On Rio Grande Water Rights For Intel

New Mexico – The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission has delayed action on a proposed water rights agreement with computer chip manufacturer Intel Corp.

The panel decided at a packed meeting Wednesday to put off making a decision on the agreement, which has raised concerns among state lawmakers and irrigators in the Middle Rio Grande Valley. Critics have asked for more time to study the proposal.

Under the agreement, Intel would pay $10 million and transfer water rights to the commission. In exchange, the commission would relieve Intel of certain obligations the company has to make up for the impact its groundwater pumping has on the Rio Grande.

Commission director Estevan Lopez says the agreement would cut down transfer of water rights out of agriculture.

The commission is expected discuss the proposal again in late July.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.