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Water Use & Conservation

Subdivision Review

Under the New Mexico Subdivision Act (§47-6-11 NMSA), counties are required to request an agency opinion from the Office of the State Engineer regarding water demand and availability for proposed subdivisions. The Water Use and Conservation Bureau is responsible for completing all subdivision reviews for the agency.

The general review process is as follows:

  • The Bureau will review the submitted materials and ensure that all documentation required by the Subdivision Act and the relevant county regulations is included in the submittal. If any required documentation is missing, the proposal is considered incomplete, and the requestor is notified..
  • A technical assessment is then conducted, during which the Bureau will review and analyze all the available information to determine if the proposal complies with the Subdivision Act, county regulations, and any applicable rules from the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC).
  • The proposed water demand is examined for technical accuracy and reasonability.
  • The proposed source of supply is examined for water availability, which includes the following:.
    • Verification of current water rights and diversions.
    • If necessary, conducting a hydrologic analysis to determine if the source of supply can fulfill the proposal as described in the submittal while adhering to all relevant regulations.

On completion of the review, if the Bureau has determined that the proposal meets all requirements and there is sufficient water supply, a positive opinion will be issued. Otherwise, a negative opinion will be issued. All negative opinions include the specific reason(s) used as the basis for the opinion.

By general agency practice, all subdivision opinions (including for re-submittals) will be issued within 30 days of the request being received.

Previously issued subdivision opinions and staff memoranda can be found below.

If you have any questions, please contact the Water Use and Conservation Bureau at (505) 827-6755 or

Technical Reports

Water Conservation and Quantification of Water Demands in Subdivisions (Technical Report 48) May 1996