LAS CRUCES — The New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission (NMISC) is expanding on the success of its Lower Rio Grande (LRG) Water Management Pilot Project and will be accepting grant applications for the LRG Groundwater Conservation Program starting Sept. 25.
A series of listening sessions and application information sessions to provide more information and answer questions about the expanded program will take place in Anthony, Hatch, and Las Cruces throughout September. All sessions will be in-person and virtual and include Spanish language support.
The purpose of the LRG Groundwater Conservation Program is to initiate groundwater conservation actions that will ensure that New Mexico has a sustainable groundwater supply not only today, but for future generations of New Mexicans. Under the program, grants will be provided to compensate willing irrigators in the Lower Rio Grande basin for temporarily conserving groundwater by not irrigating previously irrigated parcels for a period of two years. Applications to participate will be accepted starting Sept. 25 through Oct. 16, 2023.
Listening sessions will be held Sept. 8 and 9 in Anthony, Hatch, and Las Cruces. At the listening sessions, NMISC staff will provide an overview of the program, eligibility requirements, and its benefits to irrigators and the overall Lower Rio Grande basin. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and express their thoughts about the program.
Meeting and registration information for the listening sessions is as follows:
- 9-11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Dona Ana Community College, Gadsen Campus, 1700 Ohara Rd., Anthony, NM
- 2:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, Village of Hatch Community Center, 837 Hwy 187, Hatch, NM
- 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, NMSU, Corbett Center Student Union, 3rd Floor, Suite 317, Las Cruces, NM
Application information sessions will be held Sept. 22 and 23, prior to the opening of program enrollment Sept. 25. During the application information sessions, NMISC staff will provide a detailed presentation of the program application form and contract, a live demonstration of how to navigate the application form and spatial database, and further details on the timeline of the program.
Meeting and registration information for the application information sessions is as follows:
- Friday, Sept. 22, 3-4:30pm and 5-6:30pm, Village of Hatch Community Center, 837 Hwy 187, Hatch, NM
- Saturday, Sept. 23, 9-10:30am and 11-12:30pm, Dona Ana Community College, Gadsen Campus, 1700 Ohara Rd., Anthony, NM
- Saturday, Sept. 23, 3-4:30pm and 5-6:30pm, NMSU, Corbett Center Student Union, 3rd Floor, Suite 317, Las Cruces, NM
Register online for all events through this link. If you have problems with registration, please contact Lilly Irvin-Vitela with Community Connects Consulting at 505.234.0694 or email lilly@
The LRG Groundwater Conservation Program builds on the success and lessons learned through the LRG Water Management Pilot Program that operated from 2020 to 2023 with great success. In that project, the NMISC administered over 73 grant agreements from voluntary participants who chose to temporarily stop irrigating their parcels for one-year periods. Over the course of the three-year pilot program, a total of approximately 2,500 acres of land was temporarily fallowed, and NMISC issued $3.6 M in grant payments to participants.
For more information about the LRG Groundwater Conservation Program, visit https://www.ose.state.nm.us/