Legal Department

Water management in New Mexico is guided by several nearly 100-year-old principles in the New Mexico Constitution. The legal department of the Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission play an integral part in helping assure those principles are adhered to and the most prudent actions are taken with regard to supervising the state’s water resources.

The legal department of the Office of the State Engineer consists of the Litigation and Adjudication Department and the Water Rights Hearing Unit. The Interstate Stream Commission has its own general counsel to serve as legal advisor.

ISC Legal Counsel - The Interstate Stream Commission General Counsel serves as the legal advisor to the Commission.

Interstate Stream Compacts -Compacts are formal agreement between states concerning the use of water in rivers or streams, which flow across state boundaries. The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission’s authority under state law includes negotiating compact issues with other states.

Litigation and Adjudication Program - The Litigation and Adjudication Program serves as the legal advisor to the State Engineer. As commissioned special assistant attorneys general, the attorneys prosecute all water right adjudications brought on behalf of the State of New Mexico in state and federal courts.

Legislative Actions - List of Bills, Capital Outlay Requests, Memorials, and Joint Memorials from the House and Senate that are related to and analyzed by the Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission.

Rules and Regulations -All rules and regulations proposed and promulgated by the Office of the State Engineer and can be accessed from this website. For questions regarding rules and regulations contact the State Engineer’s Legal Division at (505) 827-6150.

NM OSE/ISC Legal Department