A statewide water planning effort was initiated by the New Mexico legislature in the 2003 session. The Interstate Stream Commission (ISC),in collaboration with the Office of the State Engineer (OSE) and the Water Trust Board, was tasked with preparing and implementing a comprehensive state water plan. Regional water planning had begun much earlier, prompted by a lawsuit that El Paso filed against New Mexico in 1983, El Paso v. Reynolds.

The State Water Plan Act of 2003 (Act) was intended to promote stewardship of the state’s water resources and to establish clear policies and strategies for management of the state’s water. The agencies involved in water planning and management were faced with a daunting challenge in addressing the legislative goals. On top of that, the administration announced an intention to complete the plan within a one-year time frame. The legislative goals reflect the need for state water planning to be a major, continuing work program for the State of New Mexico water agencies. Given the current level of funding, the ISC is struggling to fulfill its planning obligations

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2008, updated 2013 by Sarah Armstrong. Contributors: Angela Schackel Bordegaray, and Phil Ogle.



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