House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at 8:30 am via ZOOM
Or use your telephone by calling this number: 1-669-900-9128
Webinar ID: 820 7264 1109
Call, text, and email committee members
in support of HB 30!!
“I support HB 30 because it is important to protect water rights and due process.”
“Please support HB 30 and protect existing water rights.”
- HB 30 protects existing senior water rights from impairment. Constitutional and statutory protections of priority water rights are at stake.
- HB 30 protects due process in water lease applications before the State Engineer.
- Current law requires the following: 1) The State Engineer has to consider impacts on existing rights of any new uses of water and 2) those who may be affected by the new use of water can file objections and 3) a public hearing MUST BE HELD where their concerns MUST BE ADDRESSED.
- HB 30 is needed because the State Engineer in recent years has used an unlawful administrative procedure he calls “preliminary approval,” in which he preliminary approves pending protested water use lease applications before a mandatory public hearing has been held. This violates protection of existing water rights and due process.
- The water leasing statute does not contain a provision for “preliminary approval” of water lease applications. By allowing applications to proceed before a hearing, senior water right uses, such as irrigation districts, Pueblos, rural community water systems, villages, and acequias, could be impaired while a protest is pending.
- A judge in the Fifth Judicial District recently ordered the State Engineer cancel permits granted through preliminary approval to Intrepid potash and ruled that the State Engineer did not have the statutory authority to grant preliminary approval for water lease applications.
- If there is a need for expedited procedures for water leases in New Mexico, proposed policy changes should be developed through the legislative process in a manner that considers constitutional and statutory protections for existing water rights.
We urge you to support HB 30 to protect existing, senior water rights and due process in water lease application procedures.
To join the meeting, you will need access to Zoom on your computer or phone. Instructions to download Zoom are provided below. On the day of the committee meeting, sign on early by 8:15am with this link. When HB 30 starts, you can “raise your hand” on Zoom. If you are on your phone, you can raise your hand by pressing *9.
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82072641109
US: +1 669 900 9128
Webinar ID: 820 7264 1109
Contact NMAA at 505-995-9644 or Emily Arasin, firstname.lastname@example.org, with questions about Zoom. Contact Jaimie Park, email@example.com, with questions about HB 30.