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Dreams

Dream: Define areas where groundwater can compensate for low flows and critically-dry rain- fall years, and zone these as “food security” zones.

Dream: New Mexico defines those areas where groundwater can compensate for low river flows and allow these water rights holders to sell surface water during very-dry and critically-dry years to irrigators without groundwater resources.

Dream: New Mexico defines those areas where it is known that well pumping impacts surface flows and areas where wells potentially interfere with surface flows. Apply water-year pumping limitations on those properties.

Dream: New Mexico revises its water compacts and irrigation allotments by water-years. [Water-years define (usually) six types of water-years: normal; above average; very wet; below average; very dry; and critically dry (which occurs when there are three to five years of consecutive below average water-years). At the moment, even in critically dry years, New Mexico is obligated to send Pecos river water to Texas at a level that would not occur with equitable understanding of weather patterns. New Mexico has been forced to pay cash for “under-supply.” The “water-year” approach has been adopted in California and will become crucial as climate change deals its cards.]

Dream: Irrigators with senior water rights become safe from emergency urban allocations and withdrawals by planned critically-dry year revisions of water rights in which irrigators would (for that year) be financially compensated for their irrigation losses.

Dream: Allow flexibility in conservation practices by creating a checklist of potential harms and benefits, and hold forums with the State Engineer’s Office in which all players in the watershed have a seat and equal voice.

Dream: “Adjudication” becomes a locally agreed upon decision of watershed users. Authority to re-organize priority calls and sequence water diversions devolve to a watershed water master in any watershed community that wishes to revise existing timing and volume rules for the sake of efficiency, conservation and other watershed protection goals.

Dream: Assure priority rights to the watershed of origin and priority calls and tribes.