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Water Rights Division

Water Rights

Anyone wanting to use water in New Mexico must have a permit from the State Engineer that can be obtained by contacting your local District Office. To facilitate speedier service, it is always recommended that you call the District Office closest to you to make an appointment.

When evaluating an application for a new appropriation or to change the place and/or purpose of use of an existing water right, the State Engineer must:

  • Determine that water is available
  • The appropriation will not impair existing rights
  • The intended use meets state water conservation efforts, and that
  • The intended use is not detrimental to the public welfare.

The law also requires the applicant to publish the application in a newspaper and give anyone with a legitimate objection the opportunity to protest the application.

Posting of the application on the Office of the State Engineer website is for public service purposes only Notice for Publication.

Water Rights Information

Contact Information

Water Rights Division Director, John T. Romero, PE

For more information on water rights in New Mexico, contact one of our District Offices.

Office hours for our District Offices are from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The areas covered by each of the districts is shown on the map.