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Water Rights Division Chief, John Romero.

Notice: The State Engineer has recently signed an order that the Jal Underground Water Basin is closed for an indefinite period of time ... Read More

Anyone wanting to use water in New Mexico must have a permit from the State Engineer.

When evaluating an application for a new appropriation or to change the place and/or purpose of use of an existing water right, the State Engineer must determine that water is available, that the appropriation will not impair existing rights, that the intended use meets state water conservation efforts, and that the intended use is not detrimental to the public welfare.

The law also requires the applicant to publish the application in a newspaper and give anyone with a legitimate objection the opportunity to protest the application.

For more information on water rights in New Mexico, contact one of our District Offices at the numbers and addresses shown on this website under "District Offices." The areas covered by each of the districts is shown on the map. Office hours for our District Offices is from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.