Advisory Council - Purpose Statement

The State Water Plan – Regional Water Plans Advisory Council was appointed by the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) in the summer of 2003 to address direction in the New Mexico State Water Plan Act to "integrate regional water plans into the state water plan as appropriate and consistent with state plan policies and strategies." The Water Planning Advisory Council recommended a policy regarding the relationship between the State Water Plan (SWP) and Regional Water Plans (RWPs) – see Section 13 of the New Mexico State Water Plan (SWP).

The ISC has re-convened the Regional Water Plan Advisory Council (See Section F of the SWP) to discuss topics and develop recommendations on procedures for resolving differences between the state water plan and regional water plans and to collaborate on strategies for implementation of regional water plans. In addition, the council will provide recommendations regarding funding water plan strategies to the Water Trust Board.

Appendix C of the SWP provides additional detail and background to initiate discussion.

The SWP policy relating to integrating regional and state water planning activities includes steps to:

SWP policy also supports adequate funding to complete, update and implement regional water plans (p. 48).

At the time the SWP was published (December 2003) only six of the sixteen regional water plans had been accepted by the ISC. By late 2005, thirteen plans had been accepted. Today all sixteen plans have been accepted by the ISC. Criteria for WTB funding includes whether or not a project has been identified by a regional water plan. Strategies in regional plans have been sorted between management strategies, conservation strategies and capital needs. Many strategies such as aquifer storage and recovery and water banking need additional study. Most of the regional plans are now in need of review and update.

In addition, Section F of the SWP states the ISC shall convene water planners and stakeholders from diverse constituencies to advise it and the OSE on implementing the SWP. These water planners and stakeholders include the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Regional Water Plan Advisory Council (see p.77), and others – possibly representatives from pueblos and tribes and state and federal agencies.