Utton Center Report Addresses Land,
Water Management Issues

Land and WaterThe Utton Transboundary Resources Center at the University of New Mexico School of Law has released, Land & Water: Making the Connection, a report that addresses the disconnect between land use planning and water resource management in New Mexico.

The 23-page publication was produced by a panel of eight authors who spent five years discussing the unique challenge of ensuring that demand for water does not exceed the state’s limited supplies and that the inherent integrity of the land is preserved for generations to come.

The report has been divided into three sections:

  • The first section explores the reasons that water and land management are disconnected from each other.
  • The second section contains five principles to guide changes that will support the sustainability of urban and rural communities, the natural environment, agricultural lands and the state’s economy and cultural heritage.
  • The third section outlines seven strategies for improving water and land management in New Mexico.

"Moving forward it will be increasingly important to understand and coordinate land and water use decisions between different levels of government,” said Carol Romero-Wirth (`98), one of the authors. “This report improves our collective understanding of this relationship so that we can sustain the state's economy and its environmental and cultural heritage." 

Along with Romero-Wirth, the report’s authors are, Consuelo Bokum, 1000 Friends of New Mexico; Barbara Calef, League of Women Voters; Mary Helen Follingstad, American Planning Association; Alan Hamilton, New Mexico Wildlife Federation; hydrologist Joanne Hilton; Susan Kelly (`81), former director of the Utton Center; and Sigmund Silber, Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Read the report on the Utton Center’s website. The center also sponsored a day-long conference in April 2011, using the themes in the new publication as a basis for the agenda. A summary of the event can be found at the same website.

January 23, 2012