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Interstate Stream Commission

2003 Pecos Settlement Agreement Implementation

The Settlement has successfully supported New Mexico’s Compact compliance thus far, ensuring local control of Pecos River water administration. New Mexico’s cumulative Compact credit increased from 6,900 acre-feet in 2003 to over 150,000 acre-feet by 2018. Of that credit, about 75,000 acre-feet is directly attributable to delivering state-owned CID water-rights to the river. Also, water supplies for CID have been increased, with almost 44,000 acre-feet pumped from NMISC’s river augmentation wellfields for CID in the 2011-2013 drought, and over 31,000 acre-feet pumped for CID during the 2020-2022 drought, supplemented by additional indirect gains for CID as a result of NMISC water rights acquisition in the PVACD. Overall, state-acquired water rights have helped reduce water withdrawals from the Pecos River Basin, restoring some hydrologic balance to the system.

Despite the significant progress achieved due to the Settlement, water supply challenges remain. The 2011-2013 drought was one of the most severe on record, and the various measures imposed by the Settlement proved insufficient to prevent CID from issuing a priority call in 2013 due to inadequate supplies. A similar situation occurred in 2021, where substantial pumping still proved insufficient to prevent a priority call. In 2022, however, NMISC pumping was able to keep project supplies high enough to avoid a priority call. While the Settlement has been mostly successful apart from these two anomalously severe droughts, the experience of this drought indicates that, should conditions change in the future, and such droughts become more common, balancing the demands of the basin’s water users while continuing to comply with the Compact may become a more difficult task.

Pecos Settlement Carlsbad Project Water Supply Calculation Procedure

Supply Projections for the 2003 Pecos Settlement

Pecos Settlement Supply