U.S. Water News Online
DENVER -- Attorney General Ken Salazar has offered to help
mediate differences between New Mexico and Texas on use of the Rio
Grande in hopes of avoiding an expensive lawsuit.
Salazar said he made the offer in a Nov. 14 letter to New Mexico
Attorney General Patricia Madrid and Texas Attorney General John
Cornyn. He said the Texas Legislature has appropriated $6.2 million
to study and possibly file a lawsuit against New Mexico.
Colorado, where the Rio Grande originates, would have to monitor
any litigation over the river to protect its interests, Salazar.
Colorado is a member of the Rio Grande Compact, which oversees use
of the river. The compact is controlled by a commission of officials
from Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
Salazar, a past chairman of the commission, encouraged Texas and
Mexico to settle their differences rather than go to court. He said
Colorado and Kansas spent millions of dollars after Kansas sued in
1985 over use of the Arkansas River.
Litigation between Nebraska and Wyoming on the North Platte River
took 15 years and two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve,
Salazar said. Colorado was a party to the litigation.
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