Water Resources and Growth of the Mesilla Valley: An Issue Paper
Since man first set foot on New Mexico soil he was undoubtedly humbled by the rigorous constraints imposed on his life style because of limited water resources. Early man probably found the northern portions of our state more hospitable in this respect. In the north supplies were larger and stream diversions for agricultural purposes were probably more manageable. As new cultures immigrated into New Mexico, new techniques of water management were brought along which allowed population movement into many other areas of the state. If one were to single out the most important limiting factor in the past development of our state it would have to be the availability of a good water supply.
The history of the relationship of water to the development of the state is a long and complex subject. Projections of this relationship into the future are even more complex. This brief issue paper will attempt to summarize the nature of the constraints which water resources place on current and projected development in New Mexico with emphasis on the Mesilla Valley of the Rio Grande. The information used for this paper was selected from technical reports listed in the Bibliography and these sources should be used for more detailed data.