Issue: Water

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Topics in This Issue

Policy Change

Agriculture and Water outcomes from 2017

  • HM 61: PROTECT PROGRAMS VITAL TO NM ECONOMY (MEMORIAL ON REAUTHORIZATION OF THE FEDERAL FARM BILL)
    Authored by New Mexico First, outlines the economic importance of the federal Farm Bill to New Mexico, and calls on legislators to protect New Mexico’s interests in the drafting of the next Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is highly relevant to multiple goals and recommendations within the Ag Plan. PASSED AND SIGNED BY LEGISLATURE
  • HM 55: REDUCE SCHOOL FOOD WASTE: Requests the LESC and the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee to review existing programs to reduce school food waste, and to study ways to create and expand policies allowing unused food to go to the benefit of hungry children. PASSED AND SIGNED BY LEGISLATURE
  • HB 246: ESTABLISH ADVANCED MAPPING FUND: House Bill 246 appropriates $1 million from the general fund to the newly-created advanced mapping fund administered by the OSE for water resource mapping. UNANIMOUSLY PASSED BY LEGISLATURE, POCKET-VETOED BY GOVERNOR

Water outcomes from 2016:

  • HM27: RESILIENCE IN NM AGRICULTURE TASK FORCE: With support from multiple stakeholders, New Mexico First authored House Memorial 27 asking policymakers to support the Resilience in New Mexico Agriculture, which is developing strategies to overcome challenges facing New Mexico agriculture. The memorial expresses support and endorsement for the projects one-year task force. The task force is developing recommendations and strategies that support New Mexico agriculture in meeting present and future challenges. PASSED
  • HB 24: STATE TRUST LANDS RESTORATION FUND: Creates the State Trust Lands Restoration and Remediation Fund to administer efforts to reduce surface damage as well as conduct forest and watershed restoration projects on state trust lands. PASSED, SIGNED BY GOVERNOR

Water outcomes from 2015:

  • The memorial passed both the house and the senate. The memorial declared the week of February 5 through February 11, 2015 to be "New Mexico Water Awareness Week" at the legislature and requested actions by state agencies in formulating water policy. This memorial was authored by New Mexico First. PASSED 
  • The goal of the program is to promote the health of New Mexico's forest lands by managing wildfires, mitigating urban-interface fire threats and providing stewardship of private and state forest lands and associated watersheds. The program will be supported by a recurring appropriation of $250,000 and, this year, $1,200,000 in nonrecurring funds contingent on enactment of HB 38. PASSED; VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR
  • New Mexico Water Resources Research Institute, (WRRI) a state-wide consortium for water research, education, and outreach will receive an appropriation of $300,000 recurring and $500,000 nonrecurring for research funding. The overall mission of the NM WRRI is to develop and disseminate knowledge that will assist the state and nation in solving water problems. PASSED; SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
  • The Utton Transboundary Resources Center provides information to the public about water, natural resources and environmental issues, with a particular focus on New Mexico and the Southwest. While New Mexico First and others supported increased revenue for the Utton Center, the organization will be supported at about the same level as last year: $346,300. PASSED; SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR 
  • The town hall participants called for improved state and regional water plans to strengthen the regional and state water planning and an implementation process to promote long-term planning, while maintaining short-term adaptability. New Mexico First strongly supported the need for stable, long-term funding for water planning. PASSED; SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
  • The New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission adopted a new rule that may reduce the oil and gas industry’s fresh water consumption by promoting recycling and reusing of produced water. This new rule provides requirements for the storage and use of recycled water in oil and gas production which could lead to producers using 100% recycled water on projects and preserving freshwater. The rule provides for “recycling facilities” and “recycling containments” and establishes requirements that protect fresh water, public health and the environment. The new rule, Title 19, Chapter 15, Part 34 of the New Mexico Administrative Code was approved after a public hearing before the Oil Conservation Commission and will become effective on March 31, 2015. ADMINISTRATIVE RULE. DOES NOT GO THROUGH LEGISLATURE.

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