Texas and New Mexico are headed to the Supreme Court in 2018 over the rights for groundwater pumping along the state border. Oral arguments are scheduled for January 8.
Texas initially brought the lawsuit four years ago, demanding that New Mexico cease groundwater pumping along the border. Texas wants more of the river to be available for use to residents and farmer in the El Paso region.
According to a report by KRQE “New Mexico must give Texas so much water every year as part of a long-standing agreement. However, in dry years New Mexico farmers have been forced to pump groundwater for their crops. Texas didn’t like that and sued back in 2013.”
New Mexico officials have openly stated they would be willing to settle the case outside of the courtroom. Speaking with NM Political Report, Water and Resources Committee Chair Sen. Joseph Cervantes of New Mexico cited the potential impact of losing in the Supreme Court.
“If Texas is demanding, which we’ve been told, a billion dollars – and New Mexico’s entire budget is $6 billion, we are not being very thoughtful if we don’t anticipate what an adverse ruling would mean to the state financially,” Cervantes said stated to NM Political Report. “It would be devastating to everything the state does and the entire state budget.”
Attorneys for New Mexico, Texas, and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will have between 10 and 20 minutes each to argue before the Supreme Court in January.
 Jerome, Sara. In New Mexico, Texas Water War Heads to Supreme Court. November 24, 2017. Web. https://www.wateronline.com/doc/new-mexico-texas-water-war-heads-to-supreme-court-0001
 Jerome. In New Mexico, Texas Water War Heads to Supreme Court.
Picture Reference: Mark Fischer