X hits on this document

PDF document

IMPROVING NEW MEXICO’S WATER MANAGEMENT - page 2 / 47

98 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

2 / 47

Our underlying premise is that water management in the state has made insufficient use

of mechanisms that would signal users about the true value of water. The first impediment is that

water is often free to the user, or provided at prices that are inconsequential for users. This is in

large part due to the lack of adjudication of water rights. In fact, users may not even have

information about how much water they are using. A water conservation charge should be

levied on all surface and groundwater diversions. The revenues from this fee will be designated

to purchase and lease water for environmental purposes, accelerate the adjudication process, and

to assist with payment for water conservation measures. This water conservation charge will

have the added benefit of reducing our consumption of water.

Second, state and local governments need to aggressively address water use through a

combination of measures, including water pricing reform, water metering, controls on new wells,

increasing the ability of sellers to transfer conserved water, and creating protection for the

ecology of streams and rivers. Many of the current uses of water have a low economic value,

meaning that change should not injure current users because new users should compensate

current users. In other western states, the state or other institutions often act to facilitate these

transfers and to devise conditions to protect communities of origin.

Finally, our current system of water administration does not acknowledge the public

values (common goods) in New Mexico’s rivers and streams. Albuquerque’s Bosque, the trees

and the river, provides a well known example of a resource that “belongs” to everyone in the

area, in the sense that it is a natural resource that defines and enriches the community.

Nonetheless, western water law makes it very difficult to protect these public values. This paper

proposes that state and federal funding be devoted to defining and acquiring water rights for

instream use and to protect natural resources and similar public areas.

2

Document info
Document views98
Page views98
Page last viewedTue Dec 06 11:15:58 UTC 2016
Pages47
Paragraphs2644
Words12042

Comments