In 2014, New Mexico’s State Legislature funded a New Mexico Universities Working Group to look at the state’s water supply vulnerabilities. The Group was asked to (1) assess the current status of water supply and demand after years of severe drought in New Mexico; (2) put the current drought into long-term context with reduced surface water, groundwater depletions, and economic activity; and (3) develop a list of vulnerabilities and promote policy strategies to mitigate these vulnerabilities. The research focused on the Lower Rio Grande.
Researchers from all three research universities in New Mexico participated in the study and included both water and social scientists. The Group included Janie Chermak, UNM Professor of Economics; David Gutzler, UNM Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences; Peggy Johnson, Principal Hydrogeologist with NM Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources at NM Tech; J. Phillip King, NMSU John Clark Distinguished Professor in the Civil Engineering Department; and UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research Professor Lee Reynis. The researchers were assisted by several undergraduate and graduate students.
The Groups Final Report to the Interim Committee on Water and Natural Resources was presented in August 31, 2015. The report includes an executive summary with Key Findings, Recommendations, and Principal Vulnerabilities. Click Here to view the report.