Federal and local water managers, pueblos, and WildEarth Guardians have come to an agreement with the city of Rio Rancho to protect the Rio Grande and resolve objections to 14 water transfers from downstream farm uses to upstream municipal purposes.
Rio Rancho committed to donating water each year to New Mexico’s strategic water reserve to support flows in the Rio Grande, benefitting the Rio Grande bosque and endangered species recovery. The city, pueblos, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and Guardians also agreed to work together to fund, design, and construct restoration projects along the Rio Grande, as well as to undertake efforts to address challenges facing the river, ensure long-term water planning, and reform state water policy.
Prior to the agreement, Guardians had long challenged Rio Rancho’s efforts to move agricultural water upstream for municipal uses, which would reduce flows in nearly 130 miles of the Rio Grande and jeopardize habitat in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
Read the press release.