An evaluation by the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) shows water infrastructure projects are lagging because of the lack of coordination among the state’s water project funding programs and policies that discourage the use of loan money.
The report reviews the Water Trust Board (WTB), which was established in 2001 “to conserve, protect, and distribute New Mexico’s scarce water resources by providing funding for water infrastructure projects.”
Among the findings are:
- The high rate of grant awards adversely impacts the effectiveness of the state’s water project loan programs.
- The Water Trust Board has failed to meet certain requirements for “fair and effective administration of the water project fund.”
- The Water Trust Fund is projected to be depleted by 2033.
- New policies implemented by the Water Trust Board improve planning, management and compliance—but also create more requirements and more reporting.
To overcome the problems identified by the LFC, recommendations are made to both the Water Trust Board and the state legislature and include measures such as streamlining the application process, consolidating and coordinating administration of the funding programs, appropriating funds for projects only when available grant and loan programs cannot fund the projects, and directly addressing the various points where the WTB fails to meet requirements.
Read the report (PDF)
Written by Marta Weismann