From the Associated Press via The Salt Lake Tribune:
As things begin to dry out again in New Mexico, members of the arid state’s congressional delegation are looking for ways to combat water scarcity here and across the American West.
U.S. Sen. Tom Udall is blaming climate change for growing water scarcity. The New Mexico Democrat worries that snowpack in the region is getting smaller and unable to adequately feed the Rio Grande and the rest of the state’s groundwater supplies.
He and other lawmakers last week introduced the Western Water Security Act of 2019. They say the goal is to strengthen New Mexico’s water infrastructure and focus efforts on conservation and the restoration of water supplies throughout the West.
“Make no mistake about it: we are in the midst of a water crisis in the West,” [Udall] told the Carlsbad Current-Argus. “Communities in New Mexico and across the country depend on fragile water ecosystems that are struggling to adapt to the wild swings in weather caused by climate change.”
New Mexico’s other senator, Martin Heinrich, said legislative efforts focused on making smart investments in water infrastructure are needed as a decades-long drought continues.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small represents a sweeping district that includes ranch land along the U.S.-Mexico border, part of one of the nation’s most prolific oil and gas basins and forests to the north. She is calling upon local communities and industries to preserve water supplies through conservation and providing funding for rural communities hurt by drought.