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Interstate Stream Commission

Colorado River System - Gila River Basin Water Planning in New Mexico

New Mexico State Water Plan

The Interstate Stream Commission in 2003 completed a New Mexico State Water Plan, which may be updated periodically.

Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Plan

Pursuant to the regional water planning program funded and administered through the Interstate Stream Commission, the City of Deming, acting as the fiscal agent for the Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Plan Steering Committee, in 2005 completed the Southwest New Mexico Regional Water Plan. The regional water plan incorporates water planning for Catron, Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties, including the entire Gila River Basin in New Mexico.

New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project

Pursuant to the 2004 Arizona Water Settlements Act, the Secretary of the Interior may contract with water users in New Mexico for water from the Gila River, its tributaries, and underground sources in amounts that would permit an annual average consumptive use in New Mexico of 14,000 acre-feet in addition to the consumptive use provided by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1964 decree in Arizona v. California; provided, that specific flow bypass requirements in New Mexico and other terms are met. Prior to making the additional depletions in New Mexico, the Secretary would have to enter into a contract with New Mexico water users to effectuate an exchange of Central Arizona Project water from the lower Colorado River mainstream to be delivered to certain downstream water users on the Gila River in Arizona as replacement for the water depleted in New Mexico. The additional consumptive use from the Gila River Basin in New Mexico will be deemed to not impair downstream senior water uses between the New Mexico unit and the point of delivery of Central Arizona Project exchange water so long as the unit is operated to meet the requirements of the Consumptive Use and Forbearance Agreement ratified in the act. The act also provides New Mexico up to $128 million in non-reimbursable funding to develop the New Mexico unit. The Interstate Stream Commission must approve any contract between the Secretary and New Mexico water users, or any expenditure of the non-reimbursable federal funds allocated to the State of New Mexico.

The Commission worked with a local collaborative, the Southwest New Mexico Stakeholders Group, from October 2007 until February 2011 on planning for the New Mexico unit.  In November 2014, the Commission informed the Secretary of the Interior that New Mexico intended to develop a New Mexico Unit, and 14 local governments were formed as the NM CAP Entity.  The NM CAP Entity  will be responsible for development of the New Mexico Unit

Water Management Data

The US Geological Survey (USGS) maintains stream flow gaging stations used in evaluating surface water supplies and flood characteristics in the Gila River Basin. The Office of the State Engineer’s Deming District Office maintains for inspection at its office information regarding water rights in the basin in New Mexico.


The contents of this web page are not meant to be an exclusive list or description of all of the responsibilities and activities of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission in the Colorado River Basin. Only summary information is provided.