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Annual water conference focuses on tribal water issues in New Mexico

More than 250 people are expected to attend the 64th Annual New Mexico Water Conference, which will take place Nov. 7-8 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort in Santa Fe. The conference is co-sponsored by the Pueblo of Pojoaque.

With the theme this year “Common Water, Sacred Water: Tribal perspectives on water issues in New Mexico,” the New Mexico Water Conference will for the first time focus on water issues facing the tribes, nations and pueblos across New Mexico.

Over the course of two full days, tribal leaders and water experts will address a host of important and timely topics, such as Indian water rights settlements, tribal water quality, infrastructure, climate change, watershed restoration, and the role of both traditional and modern science in water management.

Two pre-conference field trips will take place Nov. 6. The morning field trip, hosted by Santa Clara Pueblo, will tour the Puye Cliff Dwellings, as well as the Pueblo’s forest restoration efforts following the 2011 Las Conchas Fire. An afternoon field trip hosted by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will take attendees through the planned project area of the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System.

The Nov. 8 luncheon will feature the 2019 Albert E. Utton Memorial Water Lecture given by Sandra Postel, founder and director of the Global Water Policy Project, who has been featured in documentaries by PBS and the BBC. Based on her latest book, “Replenish: The Virtuous Cycle of Water and Prosperity,” Postel’s lecture will address ways in which farmers, cities, conservationists and engineers across the US and around the world are re-shaping 21st century water management to meet the challenges ahead.

A poster session the morning of Nov. 8 will highlight water-related research projects, with many presented by university students from across New Mexico.

The registration fee for the conference is $150. Students may attend for $75.

Please visit the conference website, which includes links to the preliminary program and registration at https://nmwaterconference.nmwrri.nmsu.edu/2019/ or call 575-646-4337 for more information.