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Rain and snow drenched our thirsty state and a heavy sky promised more as I sat down to write about William deBuys, the governor, and our water decisions.
Rain is a stage in what deBuys calls the “hydro-illogical cycle.” Drought raises awareness, which accelerates into concern and panic; rain then dampens concern and leads to apathy. We need to work on water all the time, he says, and not just when it’s dry.
New Mexico “will have to live as a state within its water means,” deBuys said during a recent talk before the New Mexico Humanities Council, and that means “some people will lose water.”
The author of “A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the Southwest” is not a fan of New Mexico water laws and their basis in prior appropriation, or who got there first. The concept of prior appropriation served in our agricultural past, but no longer reflect the realities of today. deBuys (pronounced deBWEES) would like a legal or regulatory framework under which users share the pain in the same way acequias parcel out water during dry years.
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