Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

N.M. Offers Minnow Settlement.

Byline: Copyright [c] 2001 Albuquerque Journal By Tania Soussan Journal Staff Writer

Short-Term Proposal Stores State's Water

New Mexico water managers are pushing a plan they hope will end a bitter lawsuit to protect the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow without taking water from farmers.

The deal involves storing state-owned water in upstream reservoirs, to be released later to keep minnows alive.

The plan has the aim of buying enough time to find a permanent answer to the minnow problem.

The proposed settlement comes at a time when court-ordered mediation in the federal court case appears to have hit a wall.

The Rio Grande Compact Commission will be asked to sign off on part of the state's new plan at its annual meeting in Alamosa, Colo. today. Other state and federal agencies also would have to approve.

The Interstate Stream Commission and New Mexico attorney general earlier this month made the confidential settlement proposal to the federal agencies involved. …

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