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Las Cruces Sun-News: Their View: Water and drought: a call for cooperation

By Senator Tom Udall:

The people of New Mexico have long been very water conscious. We have had to be. Our survival has depended on it. Water is the “don divino,” the divine gift. It is the lifeblood of our communities. The native pueblos who settled along the Rio Grande understood this. So did the early Spanish settlers who built the acequias to irrigate their crops.

Today, we are in the worst drought in over half a century. Projections are for hotter and drier conditions to continue.

Groundwater levels are dropping. The challenge this presents to our economy and our quality of life cannot be understated.

Last August, I was proud to co-host the 57th Annual New Mexico Water Conference at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Five hundred participants gave freely of their time. We heard from panels of experts. We met with farmers, ranchers, engineers, conservationists and community members. It was an opportunity to have a healthy dialogue about an issue that is so important to the future of our state.

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