Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque) and Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena) announced the introduction of House Bill 651. Courtesy photo
SANTA FE ― Tuesday, on Earth Science Day, Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-Albuquerque) and Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena) announced the introduction of House Bill 651—which will help address water management needs across the state.
Responding to drought and meeting the needs of farmers, communities, energy producers, and our natural places requires having the science and tools to do so.
House Bill 651, the Water Data Act, helps address the top issue identified in the New Mexico State Water Plan—the need to improve our water data and tools.
This legislation creates a state water data council, co-chaired by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and the Interstate Stream Commission, to help make water data and tools more open and accessible in partnership with federal, tribal, and local organizations. Together, these agencies will help develop common data standards, identify gaps, develop tools, and support communities in bringing information together to improve water management across the state.
“This bill represents a major step forward in addressing drought and a more sustainable approach to water management in New Mexico,” Rep. Melanie Stansbury said. “Currently our communities do not have all the tools and resources they need to manage water into the future. Helping to develop more data and tools will help us build a more secure water future.”
“By having our water data all together in one platform, where we can evaluate water quality and water quantity, we can improve water management decision-making,” Stacy Timmons, from the New Mexico Bureau of Geology said. “From a researcher’s perspective, we spend a huge amount of time emailing, calling, querying multiple databases, and sending requests for data. By implementing this bill, we can focus our time and energy on answering important water questions, rather than digging for data all over the state!”
House Bill 651 has been referred to the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.