A picture of Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham
Michelle L.
Democrat NM 1

About Rep. Michelle
  • Water Resources Management and Water Technology Research Initiatives in New Mexico

    by Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham

    Posted on 2014-01-16

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    LUJAN GRISHAM of new mexico in the house of representatives Thursday, January 16, 2014 Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, while other regions in the U.S. have recently encountered super storms and experienced catastrophic flooding, the southwest has continued to endure shortages in available water resources. Mounting pressures, created by persistent drought and a rapidly growing population, have put additional strains on the area's water resources. For states in this region, such as my home state of New Mexico, it is very clear that water is not a commodity to be taken for granted; instead it must be considered the most important natural resource, essential for the survival of the environment, households, businesses and quality of life.

    My fellow members of the New Mexico Congressional Delegation and Congressional colleagues in the Southwestern States share my commitment to help communities facing drought-like conditions; together we are developing ideas and support for legislation that would promote innovation in water efficiency research and promote job creation in water infrastructure and conservation.

    New Mexico has abundant brackish water resources, it is reported that the state has approximately 15.4 billion acre feet, which is [[Page E96]] enough to sustain a population of three million for 300 years. In its current state, brackish water is useless and undrinkable but once it is pumped up, desalinated, and put to use, it can be added incrementally to our dwindling supplies of lakes, rivers and streams.

    Our communities could greatly benefit from investments in desalinization technology, which would activate our brackish water resources and create a new water supply for our municipalities, businesses and industries. I have visited international communities with fewer available water resources at their discretion, but they have flourished by employing new technology to better manage their limited water resources. New Mexico should follow this example.

    In my discussions with water experts and researchers, they have identified areas where New Mexico can take immediate action to better manage our existing water resources. Investing in new irrigation methods can save about 40 percent of water being applied to the fields. Providing more funding and technical assistance for the rehabilitation of old water infrastructure can conserve water by eliminating leaks while also creating more jobs for New Mexicans.

    New Mexico can and should be the next innovation hub for water management technology. But in order to achieve this, we have to continue forming partnerships between the public, government, and the private sector. We also have to continue investing in water technology research initiatives that will show us how to better manage existing water resources and will allow us to unlock alternative new water resources.

    Mr. Speaker, I eagerly anticipate the input from my constituents and colleagues as we set a dynamic course that will demonstrate to the region, the country and the world that New Mexico can respond to adversity and become a leader in water resources management.


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