U.S. Water News Online
SANTA FE -- Gov. Bill Richardson declared a drought
emergency that made the state eligible for federal financial help and
continued an order last year by his predecessor, Gov. Gary Johnson.
``Despite recent rains, New Mexico continues down a path toward a
long-term drought,'' Richardson said.
The state reached agreement with Texas in April that allows some
water to be released this year from Elephant Butte reservoir in
exchange for the right to store that water in upstream,
Richardson also formed a task force to recommend ways to mitigate
drought conditions. It will consider proposals made last year,
including local conservation ordinances, water construction projects
and fire prevention efforts.
The declaration last year also freed $90 million in state money
for such needs as municipal water supply projects, firefighting and
water hauling for livestock, fisheries and wildlife.
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