The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission has received approval for a grant from the New Mexico Finance Authority to fund upcoming water planning efforts. This partnership will provide supplemental funding to update all sixteen regional water plans and to complete a comprehensive State Water Plan update in the near term.
The Commission requested $400,000 from the New Mexico Finance Authority’s Local Government Planning Fund to match $400,000 in state funding to accelerate the update of all 16 regional water plans within two years.
“Water needs state-wide are on at the top of Governor Martinez's priorities, so our team developed a new approach which focuses regional water planning groups on identifying programs, projects, and policies to assure available water supplies meet critical demands. All New Mexico water stakeholders will now have the plans in hand to accomplish long-term water management and economic goals,” said State Engineer Scott Verhines. “Today is a great step in this administration's concerted efforts to build a more resilient New Mexico.”
Regional water plans are a vital component of the State Water Plan. The Commission will support each region by generating the supply and demand projections over a 40 year planning horizon using a consistent technical approach. The Commission will also work with the regions to develop a summary of legal issues, demographics and economic forecasts. The Commission will work with regional steering committees to widen participation by representative stakeholders. Regional steering committees will then be tasked to identify the infrastructure projects, programs and policies that the region will implement to close projected supply and demand gaps.
“The partnership with the New Mexico Finance Authority will allow regional water planning efforts to proceed on an aggressive schedule,” said Commission Director Estevan Lopez. “Regional water plans must inform the State Water Plan update. This financial support will allow us to accomplish all updates in the same time frame.”
“The Commission plan is sound public policy and timely common sense given New Mexico’s drought status. The Finance Authority is honored to be a part of this critical public policy,” said Nann Winter, Chair of the Finance Authority.
The New Mexico Finance Authority’s Local Government Planning Fund provides grants to public entities to fund planning documents critical to the success of the public infrastructure projects. To date, the New Mexico Finance Authority has made funded more than 160 grants to projects statewide.