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The Utton Center prepared this Water Rights Manual to assist Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Associations (MDWCAs) with the development, protection and management of their water rights.

This manual provides an introduction to and defines Water Rights in New Mexico, as well as to acquire and have recognized Water Rights. This document also covers water management and planning, and provides additional resources.




University of New Mexico School of Law


This handbook was originally prepared in 2011 by Zackary Carpenter and Gregory Chakalian, and edited by Darcy S. Bushnell.

This work was made possible by a grant from the McCune Charitable Foundation. The Utton Center thanks the McCune Foundation for its generous support over the years.

This Manual is an educational tool and is not intended to provide or replace legal advice.



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