State oversees water issues

By Claire Bushey

In New Mexico, water is such a precious resource it naturally follows that many people and organizations devote their efforts to researching and managing it.
The two major state organizations that control water-related matters are the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission. Separate government agencies, they work together to regulate almost all of the state’s ground and surface water.
The two agencies supervise, measure, appropriate and distribute almost all of New Mexico’s water.
Closer to home, the Eastern Plains Council of Governments has acted as a water-planning body for northeastern New Mexico since 1984, Executive Director Lee Tillman said. It includes Curry, Guadalupe, Roosevelt, De Baca, Harding, Quay and Union counties. It has no legislative or tax-levying powers, Tillman said, “and we don’t want any.”
EPCOG’s Web site notes that two of its water-related projects include developing a county-level ground water monitoring program and continue working on the Ute Reservoir pipeline proposal, a public works project designed to bring water from the Quay County reservoir to Curry and Roosevelt counties.
A newcomer to the ranks of water-oriented organizations is the Clovis Water Advisory Board, formed at a city commission meeting on Nov. 7. It is comprised of one county and four city residents, plus Curry County Commissioner Pete Hulder and City Commissioner Cathy Haynes. The board also includes Curry County Staff Administrator Jimmy Dunn and City Manager Ray Mondragon.