New Mexico Receives Federal Grants For Water Conservation Planning

New Mexico – Office of the State Engineer (OSE) Water Use and Conservation Bureau received two federal grants. The two grants are for the New Mexico Water Use Census, and the New Mexico Fix-a-Leak Campaign.

Staff applied for funding of two grants from the US Bureau of Reclamation's (BOR) Water Conservation Field Services Program last January. After waiting to see what in the federal budget would be funded, it was announced that both of their proposals would receive funding. Notices of Intent were signed by Water Resource Allocation Program Director John Romero.

The New Mexico Water Use Census will receive $100,000 to calculate New Mexico's 2010 water use for all of the state's water basins and counties in nine water use categories.

"You cannot manage a resource that you do not measure," said Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar.

In order to plan for future demands, New Mexico's water stewards must reliably estimate the longevity of their sources of water supply using both the smaller-scale local analyses and the larger state and interstate analyses. The Water Census will be used to populate the 2010 Water Use by Categories Report.

The $10,000 grant received for the New Mexico Fix-a-Leak Campaign is in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency's existing WaterSense Fix-a-Leak Week Program. The OSE and partners will develop a localized informational outreach program and hand-on activities. They will be promoting good water management through the identification and reduction of indoor and outdoor water leaks. This is a continuation of the agency's March 2011 "Fix-a-Leak Week" efforts. The grant funding will support the 2012 and 2013 efforts.

Both grants are subject to final contracts with BOR. They are anticipated within the next month.