1st Edition

Water Policy in New Mexico Addressing the Challenge of an Uncertain Future

    304 Pages
    by RFF Press

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    This book addresses water management issues in the State of New Mexico. It focuses on our current understanding of the natural world, capabilities in numerical modeling, existing and evolving regulatory frameworks, and specific issues such as water quality, endangered species and the evolution of new water management institutions. Similar to its neighboring states, New Mexico regularly experiences cycles of drought. It is also experiencing rapid economic growth while at the same time is experiencing a fundamental climate shift. These factors place severe demands on its scarce water resources. In addition to historical uses by the native inhabitants of the region and the agricultural sector, new competitive uses have emerged which will require reallocation. This effort is complicated by unadjudicated water rights, the need to balance the ever-increasing needs of growing urban and rural populations, and the requirements of the ecosystem and traditional users. It is clear that New Mexico, as with other semi-arid states and regions, must find efficient ways to reallocate water among various beneficial uses. This book discusses how a proper coordination of scientific understanding, modeling advancements, and new and emerging institutional structures can help in achieving improved strategies for water policy and management. To do so, it calls upon the expertise of academics from multiple disciplines, as well as officials from federal and state agencies, to describe in understandable terms the issues currently being faced and how they can be addressed via an iterative strategy of adaptive management.

    Foreword John Dantonio  1. Introduction  Part 1: Setting the Context for Water Management in New Mexico  2. Modeling: A Basis for Linking Policy to Adaptive Water Management  3. Water Resources in New Mexico  4. Climate and Drought in New Mexico  Part 2: The Historical, Legal, and Institutional Setting of Water Policy in New Mexico  5. The Tangled History of New Mexico Water Law  6. The Historical Role of Acequias and Agriculture in New Mexico  7. Water Rights in New Mexico  8. It's Not Just Our Water: Shared Governance for New Mexico's Water  Part 3: The Economics of Water Management in New Mexico  9. Water Markets in New Mexico  10. The Pricing and Conservation of Water in Urban Areas  Part 4: Contemporary Challenges in Water Management  11. Domestic Wells in New Mexico  12. Impacts of Endangered Species Protection on Water Management, Allocation, and Use in New Mexico: Lessons Learned and Uncertainties about the Future  13. Science and Management Needs Related to the Sustainability of Riparian Ecosystems  Part 5: Conclusion  14. Issues for the Future


    David S. Brookshire (Ph.D., U New Mexico) is professor of economics at the University of New Mexico and Director of the 'Science Impact Laboratory for Policy and Economics'. He served on the Executive Board of the Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrologic and Riparian Areas (SAHRA) Science and Technology Center at the University of Arizona. He has been a contributor to the development nonmarket valuation methods and the design of experimental markets for resource allocation.

    Hoshin V. Gupta (Ph.D., systems engineering) is professor of systems analysis in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona, fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and editor of Water Resources Research. His book publications include Quantification and Reduction of Predictive Uncertainty for Sustainable Water Resources Management.

    Olen Paul Matthews (Ph.D., geography, University of Washington; J.D., law, University of Idaho) is professor of geography at the University of New Mexico. His research has focused on transboundary natural resource conflicts.