Transfers of Water Use in New Mexico
This study was part of a comparative examination of the water transfer process and experience within six western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). The results of the New Mexico portion of the study are presented here. For complete information on the results of the other five states and a comparative analysis of them, please see the final report of the overall project, The Water Transfer Process as a Management Option for Meeting Changing Water Demands.
In addition to a description of the water rights transfer process in New Mexico, the report presents numerical results of a Census of Water Right Transfers for the period from 1975 to 1987. This data was collected in a form which permitted disaggregation by basin region, size of transfer, frequency of protest, and other measures. In addition, some information was gathered on the cost of completing a transfer transaction and the sales price of the water right. Finally, the issue of the public welfare as it has arisen in the context of New Mexico water rights transfers is described and analyzed, and an institutional forum for addressing the issue is proposed.