Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Engineer Pushes Water Leasing.(Final)

Byline: Tania Soussan Journal Staff Writer

Business Leaders Hear Top Official

Flexibility to move water from agriculture to municipal uses during droughts and so-called water banking are keys to New Mexico's future, State Engineer John D'Antonio told business leaders Tuesday.

Most of the water in the state already is spoken for, so temporary transfers between users can become a vital tool during dry times.

Agriculture accounts for roughly three-quarters of the water use in New Mexico and could provide significant supplies for growth and municipal use.

For example, a farmer who will not get a full supply of water in a drought year could choose not to grow crops and to lease his water to a city instead. …

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