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10-year review of water dispute settlement planned

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Ten years have passed since a significant part of a water dispute settlement went into effect, and officials will hold a meeting next week to review what has occurred in that time.

In 2009, the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, part of the Office of the State Engineer, began monitoring water levels in the Pecos River available to the Carlsbad Irrigation District, one of the parties in a 2003 Pecos Settlement Agreement.

Five times a year, the commission determines whether it will have to provide more water from its wells and groundwater supplies to the river so that the Carlsbad Irrigation District, as well as Texas, which was a party to an earlier water compact, receive the mandated supply levels required by the settlement and compact.

Other parties to the 2003 settlement agreement included the Pecos Valley Artesian Conservancy District, based in Roswell; the Office of the State Engineer; and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

A 5:30 p.m. meeting Thursday, May 30, will occur in Artesia at the Jack Case Community Room in the Central Valley Electric Cooperative Inc. offices, 1403 N. 13th St., to review the settlement. Commission staff also will report on a recent operational readiness test for the Seven Rivers Well Field, one of the well supplies used to augment water in the Pecos River when necessary. A discussion about the history of the settlement and its effects on the state also will occur.