Adjudications are lawsuits that take place in state or federal court to resolve all claims to water use in the state of New Mexico, including those of Pueblos, tribes and the federal government. These cases are required by statute to create a formal inventory of water uses and to facilitate administration of New Mexico’s surface and groundwater. The geographic scope of each case is generally described by a stream system and occasionally by a groundwater basin. By statute, the State is always the plaintiff. The mission is to formally identify and recognize all valid water rights in each area being adjudicated. For expeditious and effective case management, a court may allow the case to proceed by smaller geographic sections: for example,the Pecos adjudication has twelve sections and the Lower Rio Grande has five sections.

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2008, updated 2015 by Darcy Bushnell



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