New Mexico And Intel Abandon Water Rights Deal

New Mexico – The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission and computer chip manufacturer Intel Corp. have abandoned plans for an exchange of water rights and millions of dollars.

Commission director Estevan Lopez says he believes the proposal would have benefited the community and protected senior water users. However, he says it's not prudent to pursue the agreement because of continued opposition.

Some state lawmakers, farmers and an irrigation group along the Rio Grande had voiced concerns.

Under the proposal, Intel would have paid $10 million and transferred nearly 741 acre-feet per year of pre-1907 surface water rights to the commission.

In exchange, the commission would have relieved Intel of certain obligations the company has to make up for the impact of its groundwater pumping.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.