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. The public will have 30 days to comment on the lengthy document.
Updated every five years, the plan acknowledges the growing pressures of drought and climate change on New Mexico's drinking and irrigation supplies.
Despite short-term relief for some areas as the monsoon season kicks into gear, forecasters say it will take more than a single robust rainy season to erase the deficit that has built up due to little winter snowpack and dismal spring runoff.
The water plan also highlights billions of dollars in infrastructure needs.