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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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NMSU to host lecture on water issues

"Water in New Mexico is Gold!" is the theme for the 2008 Water Lecture Series at New Mexico State University. The next water lecture will include State Sen. Mary Kay Papen, who will speak about the "Legislative Perspective of the Adjudication." The lecture will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, in NMSU's Hernandez Hall, Room 103. This is a College of Agriculture and Home Economics event sponsored by the Water Task Force.

State Sen. Mary Kay Papen. (Submitted photo)

State Sen. Papen will discuss her views on the best and most economical way to complete the water adjudication process in New Mexico. Adjudication is the first step in determining who has legal entitlement to the water in a given river basin. There is growing concern in the state that newcomers are taking water from those who have senior rights. Adjudication settles the question of who has senior rights and who does not, and also whose water use can be restricted in times of drought. Only 20 percent of the state has been fully adjudicated, according to the Office of the State Engineer, and at the current pace it could take decades to complete the entire process.

Papen was first elected to the New Mexico State Senate in 2000. Since that time she has championed many important pieces of legislation dealing with water, economic development and education. Prior to being elected she was a volunteer citizen lobbyist for domestic violence and mental health issues. Currently she is involved with the Lower Rio Grande Basin Adjudication and in January of this year she introduced Senate Bill 92. This bill includes $10 million to provide resources to the Office of the State Engineer.

For further information, contact Leeann DeMouche at (575) 646-3973 or ldmouche@nmsu.edu.