Lower Rio Grande water conservation program public events scheduled in September


The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (NMISC) will host public meetings Sept. 8-23 in Las Cruces, Hatch and Anthony, New Mexico, to provide more information and answer questions about its Lower Rio Grande (LRG) Water Management Pilot Project, NMISC said in a news release.

NMISC will begin accepting grant applications for the program Monday, Sept. 25.

The program was created is to initiate groundwater conservation actions that will ensure New Mexico has a sustainable groundwater supply, NMISC said in a news release. Under the program, grants will be provided to compensate willing irrigators in the LRG basin for temporarily conserving groundwater by not irrigating previously irrigated parcels for a period of two years. Applications to participate will be accepted Sept. 25-Oct. 16, 2023.

Public meetings are scheduled:

  • 9-11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Doña Ana Community College Gadsen campus, 1700 Ohara Road in Anthony;
  • 2:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Village of Hatch Community Center, 837 Hwy. 187 in Hatch;
  • 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, third floor of Corbett Center Student Union, NMSU campus in Las Cruces.

Grant application information sessions are scheduled:

  • 3-4:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, Village of Hatch Community Center, 837 Hwy 187 in Hatch;
  • 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, DACC Gadsen campus, 1700 Ohara Road in Anthony;
  • 3-4:30 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, Corbett Center, NMSU campus in Las Cruces.

Register for all events at www.surveymonkey.com/r/J8ZKMB6.

Contact Lilly Irvin-Vitela at 505 234 0694 and lilly@communityconnectsconsulting.com.

The pilot program operated 2022-23, during which NMISC administered more than 70 grant agreements with voluntary participants who chose to temporarily stop irrigating their land for one-year periods, NMISC said. During the pilot phase, about 2,500 acres of land was temporarily fallowed and NMISC issued $3.6 million in grants.

For more information, visit www.ose.state.nm.us/LRGGWCP/index.php.

The webpage will be updated to include recordings of the listening and application information sessions, FAQs, the program application form, a sample contract and more, the news release said.