As New Mexico grows and develops, there is a continuing increase in water demand and the need to provide additional supplies. Recent studies estimate the current population of the State to be about two million people, and the population is expected to grow to approximately 3,400,000 by 2050. Regional water plans project water demands for 16 regions within New Mexico. The total projected new water use associated with population growth—the public water supply and associated commercial sectors, exclusive of agriculture, mining, or other industries—ranges from 280,000 to 380,000 acre-feet per year of new water supply needed in the next 40 years. While there is uncertainty in these estimates, it is clear that there will be continuing pressure on our water resources. Accommodating this new growth and development, without adverse impacts to existing users and our river systems, will require careful land use and water management.

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