New Mexico governor unveils $500M plan to secure future water supply
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Climate models reportedly predict a 25% reduction in the water supply New Mexico will have in the future.
This comes as we have already seen towns running out of water and even the Rio Grande running dry.
“These are not going to be anomalies, they are going to be the status quo. This shifts that reality and creates opportunities for 50 to 100 years for the west, the southwest, New Mexico and the country,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said.
At a United Nations conference in Dubai, Gov. Lujan Grisham announced what she says is a roadmap to sustain our state’s water supply.
The governor is seeking $500 million over the next two legislative sessions – $250 million in 2024 and $250 million in 2025 – which would come from existing taxes on extracting natural resources. That money would go toward investing in private businesses that treat and reuse certain types of water.
“What we want you to do is clean up produced water, which is a byproduct of our oil and gas industry. We have sizeable brackish water reserves, frankly, nearly statewide. We’re going to turn water that is waste, which is a problem, into a commodity,” the governor said.
Once it gets treated, that water can be used to produce renewable energy. That also means more freshwater to stay hydrated, bathe, cook and other everyday activities.
According to the governor, there is foreign and domestic interest in this.
“There are companies in addition to our hydrogen company that’s investing $100M that have approached us,” she said. “There are also some New Mexico partners that have been putting together, even working with sovereign nations.”
New Mexico Environment Department officials still need to finalize water reuse rules. Then, once that happens, they’ll set up a permit program for companies to apply for.
If you want to receive alerts on the progress of this project, click here.