The purpose of this site is to provide a communications bridge between organizations, communities, and individuals regarding the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004, Pub. L. 108-451 (AWSA).
The AWSA allocates to New Mexico an annual average of 14,000 acre-feet of water from the Gila Basin and up to $128 million in non-reimbursable federal funding. The water is in addition to that allocated to New Mexico in the 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decree in Arizona v. California. The funds may be used only in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico (Catron, Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna counties).
The AWSA requires that the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission approve all uses of the water and funds.
To guide the allocation of water and funds, the Commission formally adopted the following policy:
"The Interstate Stream Commission recognizes the unique and valuable
ecology of the Gila Basin. In considering any proposal for water utilization
under Section 212 of the Arizona Water Settlements Act, the Commission
will apply the best available science to fully assess and mitigate the
ecological impacts on Southwest New Mexico, the Gila River, its tributaries
and associated riparian corridors, while also considering the historic uses of
and future demands for water in the Basin and the traditions, cultures and
customs affecting those uses."
On November 24, 2014, the Commission resolved to construct or develop a New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project and duly notified the Secretary of the Interior. The Commission also voted to fund additional water-use projects in the region:
Municipal Water Conservation: $3 million
Gila Basin Irrigation Commission Diversion Structure: $1.25 million
Catron County Community Ditch Permanent Points of Diversion: $500,000
Deming Effluent Reuse: $1.75 million
Pleasanton East-Side Ditch Company Ditch Improvement: $200,000
Sunset Canal and New Mexico New Model Canal Ditch Improvements: $200,000
1892 Luna Irrigation Ditch Association Permanent Diversion Structure: $100,000
On February 26, 2015, the Commission reconsidered the Grant County Water Commission proposal and voted to allocate $2.1 million for the construction of a water pipeline from a well field at the Grant County Airport to the Town of Hurley.
The Commission also resolved to be joint lead for the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, pursuant to the AWSA, and duly notified the Secretary of the Interior.
On July 22, 2015, the Commission designated the NM CAP Entity, which is composed of representatives from 13 local governments and a non-voting ISC representative.
On October 16, 2015, the Commission approved the supplemental terms to the NM Unit Agreement and notified the Secretary of the Interior of said approval.
In the coming months, the Commission must complete the following AWSA business:
Begin the 30-percent design of the NM Unit project so as to timely complete the NEPA process
Enter into contracts with grantees for use of AWSA funds
Continue to administer the NM Unit Fund in accordance with federal and state law
Commission actions are taken in public meetings. The Commission's meeting agendas and minutes are posted at http://www.ose.state.nm.us.