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Is a Settlement on the Rio Grande Coming Soon?

8.4.23 – After the relatively wet years of the 1980s and ‘90s, New Mexico’s reservoirs started dropping in the 2000s. In cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, two water districts — one in New Mexico and another in Texas — agreed in 2008 on new ways to share water stored in Elephant Butte Reservoir. But New Mexico’s then-attorney general, Gary King, sued the federal government, saying too much of New Mexico’s water was going to Texas. Texas disagreed and then sued New Mexico and Colorado, alleging that by allowing farmers to pump groundwater connected to the river, New Mexico wasn’t sending its fair share downstream. That landed all three states in the U.S. Supreme Court, where the federal government also weighed in on the issue.  Now, the three states say they’ve come up with a plan to move forward, and although the federal government hasn’t agreed to the plan, federal Judge Michael Melloy, the case’s special master, has recommended the Supreme Court approve a settlement. To help us understand what’s going on, we invited water attorney Adrian Oglesby onto the show. He’s the director of the Utton Transboundary Resources Center at the University of New Mexico’s School of Law.

Correspondent: Laura Paskus

Guest: Adrian Oglesby, director, Utton Transboundary Resources Center, UNM School of Law

For More Information:

Judge OKs states’ plan to end Rio Grande dispute – Source NM

Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado – SCOTUSblog

Texas v. New Mexico and Colorado – New Mexico Attorney General website