The state's top water manager plans to order meters to be installed on all ditches along the Mimbres River this month.
State Engineer Scott Verhines made the announcement Friday. His office is planning a public meeting in Deming on July 2 to discuss the order.
Verhines says the drought has placed tremendous pressure on New Mexico, and the state must find ways to maximize its water supplies. He says the meters will show exactly how much water is being used from the Mimbres River.
Aside from protecting against the illegal use of water or using more water than is permitted through water rights, he says the meters will help identify lost water.
State officials say many ditches in the Upper and Lower Mimbres have already been metered voluntarily.
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