New Mexico struggles with funding drinking water projects

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Legislative analysts say many New Mexico communities are behind the curve when it comes to investing in drinking water infrastructure as drought threatens supplies across the arid state.

New Mexico provided roughly $876 million for water projects over a five-year period. But analysts told lawmakers Wednesday that communities aren’t doing enough to leverage federal and local dollars.

They also said the state’s system for financing projects is fragmented and tracking outcomes is difficult, leaving it unclear what taxpayers are getting for their money.

Questions also were raised about whether the state can efficiently spend its share of federal relief aid and infrastructure funds to address some of the needs.