By a vote of 58 – 1, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed an official House Memorial asking the state engineer and the courts to provide greater protections for water rights owners. House Memorial 56 was co-sponsored by Representative Paul Bandy, Republican from Aztec, and Representative Carl Trujillo, Democrat from Pojaque.
House Memorial 56 tells the courts and the state engineer that they need to use all available data sources when they compile mailing lists to notify water owners about water cases. In particular, county real estate records and ditch membership lists should be used to identify current water owners.
The memorial also states that the state engineer should make efforts to locate water owners when mail comes back as undeliverable.
“My constituents are having the same problems as Representative Bandy’s constituents – they are not getting notice of official proceedings that hurt their water rights,” said Representative Trujillo.
“This was an overwhelming vote by legislators from both parties that the water law system needs to be reformed right now,” said Paul Bandy. “State Engineer Tom Blaine is working hard to reform the state engineer’s office, and we’re supporting what he’s trying to do.”
To read House Memorial 56, click here: HM056 of 2016 mailing lists for water rights owners.