Bad News for New Mexico Property Rights

The passage of legislation during the legislative session earlier this year that will offer protections for New Mexico property owners from eminent domain abuse was positive, but property rights are by no means secured.
Unfortunately, un-accountable, rogue bureaucracies like the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Authority can get judges to strip private companies (subscription required) like New Mexico Utilities Inc. of their property rights for no good reason.
Sure, the unaccountable thugs at the water authority will claim that only they can ensure that water is used efficiently and, since it is such a “scarce” resource, it is too precious to be left in private hands. What they won’t tell you is that there is no “water crisis” here in New Mexico, but there is a water distribution crisis. That is, upwards of 80% of the water in this state is used for agriculture, an industry that plays a relatively small role in the state’s economy.
Rather than using a supposed crisis as an excuse to weaken property rights, New Mexicans and the state’s legal system should use property rights to solve the state’s water distribution problems.