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Interstate Stream Commission

Lower Rio Grande (LRG)
Water Management Pilot ProjectLRG MAP


The State Legislature appropriated $7 million in 2020 to the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (NMISC) to develop and fund a Water Management Pilot Project (Project) for the Lower Rio Grande for fiscal years 2020 through 2023.  The purpose of the Project is to examine and test a variety of water management actions designed to reduce water consumption in the Lower Rio Grande basin (LRG) and promote long term sustainability within the New Mexico portion of the Rio Grande Project

The Project ultimately intends to develop an array of tools that can be used in the LRG in the future to better manage water, especially during extended drought.  Water management actions to be examined and tested over the next three fiscal years may include rotational fallowing, aquifer recharge, infrastructure improvement, and supply augmentation.  The primary focus for fiscal year 2021 will be on instituting rotational fallowing, evaluating local governance alternatives, and working with local LRG entities to establish a water user entity to manage longer-term Project efforts in conjunction with the NMISC. 

The first phase of the Water Management Project will be a Groundwater Conservation Pilot Program

Groundwater Conservation Pilot Program

Starting November 9, 2020, the NMISC will be accepting grant applications from members of the agriculture community that are willing to conserve groundwater. The purpose of this Program is to initiate groundwater conservation actions that will ensure that New Mexico has a sustainable groundwater supply not only today, but for future generations of New Mexicans.  The Program will provide grants to the agriculture community to conserve groundwater by not irrigating for a 12-month period.  Grants will be awarded through a Grant Agreement.

The NMISC has contracted with New Mexico First to conduct a series of Application Information Sessions for interested participants. The sessions will cover grant objectives, eligibility, the application requirements, timeline, and funding. Participants in the session will also review the grant application form and on-line platform. There will also be time for questions and answers. The session dates and times are:

• Thursday, November 12, 10:30-11:30 AM
• Thursday, November 12, 5:30-6:30 PM
• Tuesday, November 17, 1:00-2:00 PM

Register for one of these sessions at:

Visit the New Mexico First website for application information:

OSE: Listening Session Report, Lower Rio Grande Groundwater Conservation Pilot Program