100-Year Timeline of Significant Events
in New Mexico’s Water History

1907 - Territorial Water Code enacted; Territorial Engineer created

1912 - Prior Appropriation Doctrine system of water administration adopted as part of the state constitution when NM became a state in 1912

1912 - Territorial Water Code became State Water Code pursuant to art. XXII § 4 of the Constitution

1916 - Elephant Butte Reservoir construction completed

1922 - Colorado River Compact signed between CA, CO, NV, NM, and UT

1922 - La Plata River Compact signed between CO and NM

1931 - Groundwater Code adopted by the State Legislature

1935 - The Interstate Stream Commission was created to investigate, protect, conserve, and develop New Mexico’s waters

1935 - El Vado Dam construction completed

1937 - Avalon Dam construction completed

1937 - Sumner Dam construction completed

1938 - Caballo Dam construction completed

1938 - Rio Grande Compact signed by NM, CO and TX

1940 - Conchas Dam construction completed

1941 - Massive flooding in New Mexico

1944 - Costilla Creek Compact signed between CO and NM

1948 - Pecos River Compact signed between NM and TX

1948 - Upper Colorado River Basin Compact signed between AZ, CO, NM, UT, and WY

1950 - Canadian River Compact signed between NM, OK, and TX

1955 - Severe drought conditions grip New Mexico for nine long years

1956 - Beginning of the Pecos River general adjudication

1956 - Initial declaration of Rio Grande underground water basin

1962 - Navajo Dam construction completed

1963 - Abiquiu Dam construction completed

1963 - State Engineer’s adoption of conjunctive management principles for interconnected surface and ground water judicially approved

1964 - Aamodt water rights case filed

1968 - Animas-La Plata Compact signed between CO and NM

1971 - Heron Dam construction completed

1975 - Cochiti Dam construction completed

1977 - Legislation for San Juan-Chama Project is completed

1980 - Declaration of the last undeclared portion of the Rio Grande underground water basin

1982 - State of Texas suit in the USSC against New Mexico over the Pecos River; Texas v. NM, No. 65 original

1988 - USSC enters its decree in Texas v. NM, No. 65 original

1988 - Brantley Dam construction completed

1999 - Minnow v. Martinez lawsuit filed

1990 - State Engineer Steve Reynolds dies after thirty-five years in office

2003 - Pecos Settlement Agreement signed

2003 - New Mexico Supreme Court affirms prior appropriation principles in rejecting a water rights doctrine in Las Vegas that would interfere with state regulation of water

2003 - New Mexico’s first State Water Plan was accepted

2004 - Arizona water rights settlement agreement signed by the President

2004 - Active Water Resources Management framework regulations promulgated by State Engineer John D’Antonio

2005 - Navajo Nation water rights settlement agreement signed by parties

2005 - State Engineer declares all remaining groundwater basins in the state

2006 - Aamodt water rights settlement agreement signed by parties

2006 - Taos water rights settlement agreement signed by parties

2007 - Governor Richardson proclaims the 2007 Legislative Session to be the "Year of Water"

2007 - Celebration of a "Century of Service to New Mexico" by the Office of the State Engineer