State Water Planning Town Hall: Advancing New Mexico’s Water Future

State Water Planning Town Hall: Advancing New Mexico’s Water Future

Date: 13-DEC-2017

Day 1: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Day 2: 9:00 AM-3:00 PM

Location: Marriott Pyramid North, 5151 San Francisco Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109


Are you interested in New Mexico’s water future? Sign up today for a two-day deliberative town hall to inform the next State Water Plan! This document is the primary policy guide for New Mexico’s water policy. As part of public engagement on the update of the plan, the upcoming town hall will be held December 13-14 in Albuquerque. Participants will engage in discussions on water issues and offer suggestions advising the Interstate Stream of significant changed conditions facing New Mexico’s water future.

How will the event be organized?

People from all corners of the state will work together over the two days to develop policy suggestions. New Mexico First town halls are not typical conferences with a series of presentations. There will be a few opening speakers to help set the context, but the bulk of the time is devoted to small group discussions about potential policy change.

Each participant will join one small group for the entire event. When registering, each person will select their first and second choice topics from the list below. The topics are based on requirements in the statute. Before the town hall, registrants will receive a background report that provides a basis for the discussions. Participants commit to reading the two chapters tied to their potential small group topics. Once the small groups have completed their work, the entire town hall will offer feedback on the collection of policy suggestions.


  • Striking a Balance: Increasing Water Supply and Reducing Demand
  • Protecting Precious Resources: Water Quality, Watersheds and Natural Environments
  • Making Improvements: Building and Maintaining Water Infrastructure
  • Gatekeeping: Water Rights and Legal Matters
  • Bridging Gaps: Collaboration, Improved Water Planning, And Information-Sharing
  • Preparing for a Changing New Mexico: Open topic including issues such as climate, land use and economics

Who should attend?

  • Water planners
  • Participants from the regional water planning process
  • NGOs involved in water work
  • Government officials
  • Acequia associations
  • Water rights holders
  • Landowners
  • Students
  • Others who care about New Mexico’s water future

What if I can’t attend the entire town hall?

Registrants may sign up as participants or observers.

Most people at town halls are participants. They take part in the discussions, explore ideas, and negotiate top priorities. They make a commitment to stay for the entire event.

Observers watch the participants work, may move from room to room, but do not take part in the group discussions themselves. They are free to come and go.

December 13, 2017

8:30 Check-in, Light Breakfast & Networking
  • Welcome Blessing: Myron Armijo, NM Office of the State Engineer, Santa Ana Pueblo
  • Welcome: John Longworth, NM Interstate Stream Commission
  • Overview: Heather Balas, NM First

Roundtable Discussion and Pop Quiz Discussion moderated by Heather Balas

  • Gerald Chacon
  • Sam Fernald, NM Water Resources Research Institute
  • Michaelene Kyrala, NM Environment Department
  • Lucia Sanchez, NM Interstate Stream Commission
10:45 Town Hall Overview Heather Balas
11:00 Break
11:15 Small Group Overview, Introductions and Vision Statement Discussion
12:30 Lunch
1:30 Small Group Topic Discussion
3:10 Break
3:25 Small Group Topic Discussion & Suggestions, cont’d
4:45 Plenary Session: Next Steps Heather Balas
5:00 Adjourn

December 14, 2017


Overview & Light Breakfast

  • Tom Blaine, State Engineer
  • Heather Balas, President and Executive Director
9:00 Small Group – Finalize & Prioritize Suggestions
10:00 Break
10:15 Small Group – Offer Suggestions to Other Groups
11:30 Small Group – Review Proposed Amendments
12:30 Lunch
1:30 Plenary Session Plenary Chair: Heather Balas
  • Closing Lucia Sanchez, NM Interstate Stream Commission
  • John Longworth, NM Interstate Stream Commission
3:00 Adjourn


Background Report

Participants must agree to read at least the two chapters aligned to their potential small group discussion topics.State Water Planning Town Hall: Advancing New Mexico’s Water Future Background Report State Water Planning Town Hall: Advancing New Mexico’s Water Future Background Report

Town Hall Results Report

  • State Water Planning Town Hall Final Report State Water Planning Town Hall Final Report
    Contract with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission on statewide water policy planning   16-Jan-2018



    Interstate Stream Commission
    The forum is convened by the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. The ISC is a state government entity housed within the Office of the State Engineer. The ISC holds broad powers to investigate, protect, conserve and develop New Mexico’s waters including both interstate and intrastate stream systems. The ISC is also authorized to lead the development of the State Water Plan. It investigates and develops the water supplies of the state and institutes legal proceedings in the name of the state for planning, conservation, protection and development of public waters.

    New Mexico First
    The ISC contracted with New Mexico First to develop the background report, manage the town hall, and synthesize the results.

    New Mexico First is a statewide public policy organization that engages people in critical issues facing their state and communities. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit produces comprehensive policy reports – primarily on natural resources, education, health and the economy. These analyses inform policy discussions, legislative options, and often student learning as well. Most importantly, these reports provide the foundation for New Mexico First’s unique town halls and forums that bring people together to develop thoughtful proposals for improving our state. All our background and recommendation reports are available at

    Our state’s two U.S. Senators – Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich – serve as New Mexico First’s honorary co-chairs. The organization was co-founded in 1986 by retired U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman and the late Senator Pete Domenici.


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