Background & Statement: Attorney General Raúl Torrez Regarding Texas v. New Mexico United States Supreme Court Decision

Background: The dispute over the Rio Grande’s water allocation has persisted for years, involving New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. The Rio Grande Compact was designed to ensure equitable distribution of the river’s water among these states. Recently, a Special Master approved a settlement addressing water allocation south of the Elephant Butte Reservoir. However, the federal government objected to this agreement, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny the settlement means that the issue remains unresolved, necessitating further legal proceedings.

Statement: “We are profoundly disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to reject a comprehensive settlement that would have safeguarded the rights of water users throughout southern New Mexico,” said Attorney General Raul Torrez. “But we are even more disappointed that the federal government would stand in the way of an equitable resolution of a decades-long case that neither Texas nor New Mexico wish to continue. This decision will result in millions more spent on legal fees and more uncertainty for New Mexico’s water users, all because the Interior Department feels the need to dictate how New Mexico meets its obligations to the State of Texas. It’s a sad day when two western states are able to resolve a generational dispute over water only to have that deal undermined by lawyers and bureaucrats in Washington D.C.”

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