Since 2006, NMPG has worked to accomplish legal recognition of the water needs for New Mexico’s pecan orchards in state court and administrative settings. NMPG encourages all of its members to stay informed and participate in the Lower Rio Grande Adjudication pending in NM's Third Judicial District Court to ensure their interests in individual water rights are recognized and protected. NMPG does not, and cannot, represent each of its individual members in adjudication proceedings. If you believe you need legal assistance in the adjudication, NMPG strongly encourages you to obtain legal counsel.
Groundwater Management and Administration:
NMPG continues to work with other major groundwater users in the Lower Rio Grande including the Southern Rio Grande Diversified Crop Growers, New Mexico State University, the City of Las Cruces, Public Service Company of New Mexico and the Camino Real Regional Utility Association. Collectively, the group has formed the Lower Rio Grande Water Users (“LRGWU”). The LRGWU arrived at a SETTLEMENT FRAMEWORK with the goal of resolving all pending litigation over the use of groundwater in the Lower Rio Grande. EBID and the State have recently joined in the LRGWU’s efforts to arrive at viable administration and management solutions for all water users in the Lower Rio Grande.
Lower Rio Grande Water Rights Adjudication:
The Lower Rio Grande Adjudication Monthly Adjudication Report can be found here: https://lrgadjudication.nmcourts.gov/monthly-lrg-adjudication-report.aspx
Notices of hearings and access to filings in the Lower Rio Grande Adjudication court can be found here: https://lrgadjudication.nmcourts.gov/.
Stream System Issue No. 104 (United States’ Interests): In cooperation with other parties, NMPG worked to secure the adjudication court’s recognition of a more senior priority date—1903—for surface water delivered through the Rio Grande Project to members of the Elephant Butte Irrigation District (“EBID”). The court entered its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in the matter, but it has not yet entered its final order which will trigger the deadline for appeal by parties who sought later priority dates. NMPG will continue to actively participate in the case to make sure that the surface water rights relied on by farmers within EBID are granting the earliest priority date possible.
Stream System Issue No. 107: The adjudication court has also established a new stream system issue, No. 107, to determine whether individual irrigation water rights that were established prior to the construction of the Rio Grande Project survived the formation of the Project. NMPG has informed the court it will take no position on the merits of this issue. NMPG members who desire to participate in the litigation of this issue must personally inform the court that they wish to do so. The court docket for Stream System Issue No. 107 can be found here: https://lrgadjudication.nmcourts.gov/ss-97-107-pre-project-interests.aspx
U.S. Supreme Court, Texas v. NM, Orig. No. 141:
The lawsuit filed by Texas and the United States against New Mexico over the alleged harm caused by pumping groundwater in the Lower Rio Grande is proceeding slowly. NMPG requested to appear as an amicus and file a legal brief in support of the State, which the Supreme Court granted. NMPG is working alongside the New Mexico Attorney General and other water users to defend New Mexico’s right to water within its boundaries. It will continue in its efforts to provide the court the perspective of New Mexico’s pecan growers who rely on surface water and groundwater in the Rio Grande basin. Information regarding TX v. NM can be found here: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/texas-v-new-mexico-and-colorado/