Utton Seminar Examines NM Land Use and Water Planning

Utton Seminar
John Longworth, left, with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer, and Alan Hamilton, of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation.

Integrating Land Use and Water Planning in New Mexico was the title of an April 8 seminar that examined how to better coordinate local, state and regional water plans with local land use plans to support the sustainability of communities, protect the environment and ensure economic vitality. The seminar was organized by the Utton Transboundary Resources Center at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

The day-long event at the Sheraton Uptown in Albuquerque brought together a wide range of interested parties from across New Mexico, including land use planners, water resource professionals, representatives of the development community, environmental and community groups. Through panel presentations and breakout sessions, participants explored ideas to improve land use and water resource integration.

Utton Seminar
Rosemary Glenn, left, with UNM law students Ashleigh Morris (`11), and Dominique Work (`11).

"There are a lot of people working in New Mexico on land use planning for future growth. Other people are working on future water supply issues. Often, these two groups of professionals are working in different arenas and have little understanding of what the other is dealing with," said Susan Kelly (`81), director of the Utton Center. "Our goal is to help them communicate, coordinate their efforts and improve processes."

There was broad agreement about the importance of the seminar's topic. The Utton Center is preparing a report of the proceedings and recommendations of the group, all of which will be available on the seminar website by June 2011.

Utton Seminar
Hydrologist John Shomaker, left, with Dan McGregor, of Bernalillo County.

Utton Seminar
Participants filled the room.

Utton Seminar
Joseph Quintana, left, with the Mid Region Council of Governments; moderator Peggy Johnson, with New Mexico Tech, and Rolf Schmidt-Peterson, with the Interstate Stream Commission.

April 15, 2011