Reclamation Provides Over $500,000 in Emergency Drought Assistance in New Mexico

Media Contact: Peter Soeth, (303) 445-3615
Leann Towne, (505) 462-3579

For Release: October 29, 2004

New Mexico will receive $580,000 in emergency drought funding from the Bureau of Reclamation for Pecos River water leasing and Pueblo of Sandia well refurbishment.

The funding is made available under the Reclamation States Emergency Drought Relief Act of 1991. The act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to undertake activities that minimizes losses and damages resulting from the current drought.

"President George Bush understands drought and that there are competing interests for scarce water," said Reclamation Commissioner John Keys. "This emergency funding will allow Reclamation to lease Pecos River water from willing parties to ensure the flows for the Pecos bluntnose shiner and enable the Pueblo of Sandia to fix an irrigation pump to provide water for pastures."

Reclamation has managed the water leasing program in the Pecos River basin for nearly ten years, and leases water only from those interested and willing to do so.

The Pueblo of Sandia will receive $20,200 in emergency funding from Reclamation to refurbish existing irrigation pumps to provide supplemental water to irrigate pastures. Then, livestock can be moved off of range that is in poor condition.

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