ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s supply of groundwater should be reserved for periods of drought, communities should have sharing agreements in place when supplies are short and alternatives such as desalination should be explored regardless of the cost. The recommendations are part of the state’s draft water plan released late Monday by New Mexico’s top water managers. Updated every five years, the plan acknowledges the growing pressures of dry conditions and climate change on New Mexico’s drinking and irrigation supplies. Like the rest of the American Southwest, New Mexico remains mired in severe to exceptional drought because of record-high temperatures and record-low precipitation in the winter and spring. Stretches of the Rio Grande have gone dry, mountain pastures along the Arizona-New Mexico border are brown, and the aquifer that serves parts of New Mexico, Texas and several other states continues to drop. “There’s no question we need a long-term strategy when it comes to water shortage, and it can’t be praying for rain,” said New Mexico Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, a Santa Fe Democrat who has been working on water issues for years. Not enough money has gone into water planning in recent years, and the plan has… Read full this story
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