New Mexico funds could help revamp management of Rio Grande

New Mexico

FILE – In this June 22, 2018, file photo, the Rio Grande is diverted near San Acacia, N.M. New Mexico lawmakers are considering setting aside $20 million that could be used as seed money as water managers in the arid state scramble to find ways to reduce groundwater pumping that is at the center of a legal battle over one of North America’s longest rivers. The ongoing fight over the Rio Grande has pitted Texas and New Mexico against one another before the U.S. Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico lawmakers are considering setting aside $20 million that could be used as seed money as water managers in the arid state scramble to find ways to reduce groundwater pumping that is at the center of a legal battle.

The ongoing fight over the Rio Grande has pitted Texas against New Mexico before the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Mexico’s top water engineer says the funding could pay for farmers to fallow their land in some years as well as storage projects aimed at recharging the aquifer connected to the river.

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