Day 1: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
||8:30 AM||Check-in and Networking|
Roundtable Discussion & Background Report Review
Town Hall Overview
Small Group Introductions and Overview
Keynote Presentation and Lunch
Small Group Discussion A
||2:45 PM||Small Group Recommendation Discussion A, cont’d.
Day 2: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
| 8:30 AM
Welcome and Buffet Breakfast
Small Group Amendment Discussion A
| 9:45 AM
Small Group Recommendation Discussion B + Break
| 12:00 PM
| 12:45 PM
Small Group Amendment Discussion B
| 1:45 PM
| 5:00 PM
The two-day town hall brought together people from around the state to develop practical recommendations on water use and policy. Over 300 people attended from 31 New Mexico counties. Participants came from small, medium, and large towns and included business leaders, industrial water users, environmental advocates, researchers, municipal water planners, farmers and ranchers, government professionals, elected officials and students.
Participants called for balanced water policy that plans for future
shortages, expands water storage and reuse, addresses legal issues, and
protects environmental resources. They want to explore the potential of
cleaning up brackish water (non-potable, highly salty water) in our
aquifers. They also identified potential improvements to the ways the
state finances water projects.
Examples of the strategies identified include:
Implement long term collaborative, comprehensive watershed scale restoration projects to foster healthy ecosystem function and resilience, including wildfire protection plans.
Improve the state and regional planning process, including dedicated funding, consistent data across regions, and the best available science on current and future water supply.
Develop emergency plans and sharing agreements to address allocation of water during times of shortage.
Fund and initiate new water supply and storage projects such as aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), reclaimed wastewater, surface water storage, storm water capture and water delivery enhancement.
Improve the funding process for water investments, including better coordination among funders and improved leveraging of revolving loan programs, grants, user fees and federal funds.
Clarify the processes for use of brackish water, as well as use and re-use of produced water (non-potable water used in oil and gas drilling).
Increase the efficiency, timeliness and fairness of the adjudication process, while also strengthening the water market through clear and fair water right transfer policies.
The town hall recommendations will be advocated to state and local
leaders by an implementation team comprised of volunteers from the event
and will be led by Former State Engineer John D’Antonio.
Dates: April 15-16, 2014
Times: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Marriott Pyramid North, 5151 San Francisco Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
The backgrounder, which provided a foundation in New Mexico water policy, is posted here:
Town Hall 40- Water: Backgrounder
The final recommendations from the water town hall are posted here:
Town Hall 40-Water: Recommendations
ImplementationNew Mexico First organized an implementation team to advance the town hall’s priorities. The effort will run for 12-18 months. The process is chaired by John D’Antonio, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He and the New Mexico First staff will lead the effort to advance the recommendations with federal, tribal, state and local leaders.
- The Honorable Tom Udall, Senator, United States Senate (Video Address)
- The Honorable Martin Heinrich, Senator, United States Senate
- Joseph Cervantes, NM Senator and Chair of the NM Legislature Interim Drought Subcommittee
- Ryan Flynn, Cabinet Secretary, NM Environment Department
- Richard Luarkie, Governor, Laguna Pueblo
- David Martin, Cabinet Secretary, NM Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department
- Laura McCarthy, Director, The Nature Conservancy
- Scott Verhines, State Engineer, NM Office of the State Engineer & Interstate Stream Commission
- Jeff Witte, Cabinet Secretary, NM Department of Agriculture
Town Hall Leadership
- Heather Balas, President & Executive Director, New Mexico First
- Jennifer Salisbury, Chair, New Mexico First Board of Directors
- Kurt Steinhaus, Chair-elect, New Mexico First Board of Directors
- John D’Antonio Jr. P.E., Deputy District Engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Mexico First Town Hall Implementation Chair
We gratefully acknowledge the following sponsors who generously support this town hall.
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Hatton W. Sumners Foundation
Sandia National Laboratories
Thornburg Investment Management
Concho Resources Inc.
New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
Eastern New Mexico University
Middle Rio Grande Water Assembly
Montgomery and Andrews
New Mexico State University
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
University of New Mexico