AG Balderas Files Counterclaims And Answers in Texas v. New Mexico Water Lawsuit

Attorney General Hector Balderas

From the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General:

  • Balderas Now Executing His New Strategy After Last King Action Has Been Heard by the Supreme Court

LAS CRUCES – This morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced he’s filed counterclaims and answers to Texas and the U.S. government in the Texas v. New Mexico water lawsuit making it clear that New Mexico’s traditionally underrepresented populations have been taken advantage of for decades by the parties.

Balderas, raised in rural New Mexico, understands that this case is about protecting working New Mexicans and small businesses, like our farmers and ranchers, to ensure the water they own is not unjustly taken away. Balderas has assembled a team of experts to fight on behalf of New Mexicans using the latest science, best evidence and new joint strategy to protect New Mexico’s working families, cultural way of life, and overall economy. Now that the last action initiated by the King administration has been adjudicated by the U.S. Supreme Court, Balderas is able to execute his new legal strategy.

“Our legal strategy will hold Texas and the federal government accountable for the significant amount of precious water being misappropriated that rightfully belongs to New Mexico’s working families and small businesses, and for the federal government not using proper accounting and failing to ensure reasonable water delivery improvements,” Balderas said. “Using the best science, technology and evidence-based strategy, we will protect our traditionally underserved and culturally diverse population and protect against those interests that threaten our citizens and businesses.”

After five years of preliminary motions initiated by former Attorney General Gary King, this is New Mexico’s first chance to assert defenses, utilize the best science, and demand a better planning process to ensure there is adequate water resources for all citizens. The pleadings emphasize the fact that Texas is not entitled to relief, because it has not suffered damages. Additionally, Texas has failed to take steps to mitigate the harm and injury alleged in its Complaint. The pleadings further detail Texas’ failure to properly regulate or manage surface or groundwater located within Texas, failure to prevent groundwater development in Texas, and failure to properly plan for known and expected drought or water shortages.

“I remain open to resolving this case amicably and look forward to working towards securing a more sustainable water future for all parties involved, but New Mexicans will not pay an unjust price,” Balderas said.

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