As Table 7 indicates, some sectors such as public (municipal water systems) are almost
entirely dependent on groundwater. This is a very troublesome statistic. Groundwater is a finite
resource. To the extent that major sectors are mining finite groundwater aquifers, the continued
viability of the sector depends on switching to renewable resources such as surface. This is the
major problem in the use of New Mexico water. All the above sectors are essential to the New
Mexico economy. The groundwater dependant sectors of the economy must convert from finite
groundwater to renewable surface supplies2. Yet our ability to facilitate this conversion is very
poorly developed. New Mexico’s economy will dramatically decline if we cannot develop a
systematic conversion to renewable water supplies.
III. Economic Importance of Water (Gross State Product And Employment By Sector)
Water is an essential input into all the sectors of the New Mexico economy. The
following tables outline the relative economic contribution of each sector.
2 We consider conjunctive groundwater use to be a surface or renewable use because the overlying river replenishes the groundwater depletion