New Mexico Water

Very interesting article in the Journal today regarding the fact that the San Juan/Chama project may not be the panacea our friends at the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Authority may think due to the Colorado River’s propensity for drought conditions.
The report by the National Resources Council does bring up one interesting point about that I have been considering with regard to water in the West and that is the inherent conflict between agriculture and population growth. The report points out that 75 percent of water in the state of New Mexico is used for agriculture (I have heard as much as 90 percent). It seems to me that this situation could be resolved by creating an actual marketplace for water in which prices are set by the market as opposed to government fiat. Only when the economic benefits of agricultural usage are weighed against urban usage will water be allocated effectively.