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SB 542: NM UNIT FUND & STREAM COMMISSION ACTIONS

An Act Relating To Water; Specifying The Process For Approving Encumbrances And Expenditures From The New Mexico Unit Fund; Conditioning Actions Of The Interstate Stream Commission When Acting As The State Of New Mexico.

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HIGH SB 542
NM UNIT FUND & STREAM COMMISSION ACTIONS

Legislative URL:
SB 542 on nmlegis.gov
Emergency Clause:
No
Germane:
N/A
Location:
- OTHER -
Action:
[5] SCONC/SJC/SFC-SCONC [5] SCONC/SJC/SFC-SCONC [25] (Succeeding entries: S 455).
Hearing:
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 - 2:00 p.m. or 1/2 hr. after session - Room 311
Issue(s):

Companion Bills

Bills:
NEW MEXICO UNIT REPORTS TO LEGISLATURE

Related Legislators

Bill Sponsor:

Related Documents

Downloads:
Introduced
Fiscal Impact Report

Related Events

Upcoming:
Summary

This bill requires that the New Mexico CAP Entity must not enter into a contract or other agreement with the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior to construct or develop a New Mexico Unit of the Central Arizona Project on the Gila River until the Interstate Stream Commission has presented a written report signed by the State Engineer to the Legislative Finance Committee and the committee has notified the New Mexico CAP Entity that the committee finds that the report adequately addresses the bill’s requirements.

 

The report must be submitted to the LFC by November 1, 2015 and must contain comprehensive and detailed information about the New Mexico Unit including:

  • the need for and purpose of the New Mexico Unit;
  • the proposed scope of design, locations and estimated costs of the New Mexico Unit;
  • a calculation using of the average annual safe yield of water produced by the New Mexico Unit;
  • the identity of proposed end-users, the amount of water they will receive and the amount end-user will be required to pay;
  • the identity and composition of the proposed New Mexico CAP Entity; its duties, legal responsibilities and liabilities and a demonstration of its capacity to execute them; the entity’s plan for securing the necessary financing, identifying all funding sources;
  • a demonstration of the affordability of the water supplied by the New Mexico Unit to end water users;
  • a statement of the role of the Interstate Stream Commission in the design, construction, operation, financing and environmental analysis activities and oversight of the New Mexico Unit; and
  • a demonstration of adequate public participation in the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act planning process, including New Mexico Unit engineering design, National-Environmental-Protection-Act-related studies and decisions relevant to signing the New Mexico Unit Agreement.

 

The “New Mexico CAP Entity” is defined as the entity or entities to be formed or designated by New Mexico to enter into the New Mexico Unit Agreement for the design, construction or development, operation and maintenance of the New Mexico Unit.

 

The “New Mexico Unit” means the facilities constructed or developed to consumptively use water from the Gila river or San Francisco river and that are identified as a unit of the Central Arizona Project authorized by Sections 301(a)(4) and 304 of the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act.

 

A possible benefit of this bill might be a thorough study and careful consideration of the practicality and advisability of entering into the New Mexico Unit Agreement before the agreement is executed. Another possible benefit might be that oversight by the LFC may help to ensure that the agreement is not driven by politics and special interests.

 

The Senate Conservation Committee Substitute for Senate Bills 455 & 542 requires that the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC):

(1)      recognize the Gila-San Francisco Water Commission as the successor organization to the Southwest New Mexico Water Study Group; and

(2)      conduct annual consultations with the Gila-San Francisco Water Commission addressing each proposed expenditure of the New Mexico Unit Fund exceeding $50,000, with advance notice, audio and video public Internet streaming, opportunity for public comment, and written minutes.

 

The ISC is required to report by November 15 of each year to the appropriate legislative interim committee and to the LFC the purposes and amounts of expenditures from the New Mexico Unit Fund for the prior fiscal year; the purpose and amounts of each planned expenditure or encumbrance exceeding $50,000 in the current or next fiscal year; and the subjects, conclusions and decisions of the Commission’s annual consultation with the Gila-San Francisco Water Commission.

 

Before the ISC may consider any encumbrance or expenditure of $100,000 or more from the New Mexico Unit for planning, design or legal services, the Secretary of the ISC must present to the Commission the Secretary’s recommendation for approval describing the specific deliverable product resulting from the expenditure; the Commission’s plan to measure contract compliance and work quality; and the Secretary’s determination that the expenditure of money will yield results that are achievable, relevant and timely, and will meet a specified water supply demand.

 

The bill also sets conditions for the Interstate Stream Commission acting as the State to implement the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004, including:

  • The Interstate Stream Commission must designate the Gila-San Francisco Water Commission as the New Mexico CAP Entity for the purpose of signing the New Mexico Unit Agreement.
  • The ISC must provide an initial grant of at least $100,000 from the New Mexico Unit Fund to the New Mexico CAP Entity to develop the CAP Entity’s capability and capacity to fulfill its responsibilities.
  • And, by August 15, 2015 the ISC and the New Mexico CAP Entity must release a draft report containing:
  • a definition of all major components of the New Mexico Unit;
  • the expected schedule for design and construction of each phase of implementation;
  • the ISC’s findings that the New Mexico Unit is technically and financially feasible, including the estimate of total and unit costs and the amount and reliability of the water supply to be produced;
  • the plan for transparency and public involvement;
  • the conceptual plan to finance each phase of the New Mexico Unit;
  • the specific uses identified for the water supply resulting from each phase;
  • the affordability to end users of water produced by each phase with estimated implementation costs exceeding $100,000,000; and
  • the summary of the ISC’s calculations prepared using the best available engineering, hydrologic and geologic information of the average annual safe yield of usable water, the cost per acre-foot and the reliability of the usable water supply produced by each phase with estimated implementation costs exceeding $100,000,000.

 

The ISC and the New Mexico CAP Entity must report to the LFC and to any other interim legislative committee that studies water and natural resources; consider the legislative committee discussions and any recommendations of the legislative committees; and make any changes to the report based on those

recommendations, the New Mexico CAP Entity may sign the New Mexico Unit Agreement if it finds the agreement is in the best interest of the State.

 

The “New Mexico CAP Entity” is defined as the entity or entities to be formed or designated by New Mexico to enter into the New Mexico Unit Agreement for the design, construction or development, operation and maintenance of the New Mexico Unit.

 

The “New Mexico Unit” means the facilities constructed or developed to consumptively use water from the Gila river or San Francisco river and that are identified as a unit of the Central Arizona Project authorized by Sections 301(a)(4) and 304 of the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act.

 

A possible benefit of this bill might be a thorough study and careful consideration of the practicality and advisability of entering into the New Mexico Unit Agreement before the agreement is executed. Another possible benefit might be that oversight by the LFC may help to ensure that the agreement is not driven by politics and special interests.