On October 9, Guardians filed a notice of appeal in the New Mexico Court of Appeals seeking to force the New Mexico State Engineer to require the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District in central New Mexico to account for its unrestrained water use.
The District received permits for its water use from the state in 1925. State law requires permit holders to “prove beneficial use” of the water they claimed by a date set in the permit. But the District has long avoided confirming it is using all of the water it has claimed, with the hope of continuing to control and divert the water in perpetuity.
Without action by the court to compel the State Engineer to provide accountability on the Rio Grande, the river will continue to be sucked dry—and the long-term water sustainability of New Mexico will be in jeopardy.
Read the press release.