Over the weekend, I spent time walking along the Rio Grande and some of the ditches in the valley. I wasn’t reporting, but just kind of wandering and chatting with people–about the river and about irrigation season. During three casual conversations, people informed me that Texas was taking New Mexico’s water. One of those folks blamed the river’s low flows on Texas; two irrigators working on their turnouts in Corrales said Texas was going to take all their water anyway.
Those three conversations, plus a few others, made me realize just how little people understand about the water they use. Many don’t seem to understand where it comes from, where it goes, who has what sorts of rights to it, and how the natural and political systems work.
Honestly, I wish this coming spring and summer were going to be a lot less interesting.
At any rate, here’s a piece I wrote for UNM School of Law’s Utton Center on the Texas v. New Mexico complaint Texas has filed in the US Supreme Court with respect to the waters of the Rio Grande. I learned a lot while researching the story over the past couple of weeks–and I learned that it’s a helluva lot more complicated than “Texas versus New Mexico.”
Check it out and please pass it along to someone you know–who might need a hand understanding the issue: