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An Act Relating To Public Money; Changing The Process By Which Water Projects Are Applied For, Evaluated, Prioritized, Recommended And Funded With Public Money; Requiring All State Agencies That Fund Or Administer Water Projects To Participate In The Water Project Process; Requiring Water Project Applications To Be Evaluated Pursuant To The State Water Plan And The State Water Capital Plan; Making Asset Management Plans Eligible Items For Payment From Loans And Grants; Changing The Powers And Duties Of The Water Trust Board; Changing The Appointing Power For Some Members; Creating The Water Trust Office; Prescribing Powers And Duties; Requiring The Water Trust Board To Develop A Standardized Application Form And Process For Funding Water Projects; Making Certain Funds State Treasury Funds; Requiring Continuing Legislative Oversight Of The Activities Of The Water Trust Board; Amending, Repealing And Enacting Sections Of The Nmsa 1978; Making An Appropriation.

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MOD SB 198

Legislative URL:
SB 198 on
Emergency Clause:
[2] SCC/SRC/SCONC/SFC-SCC-germane-SRC [10] DP/a-SCONC [11] DP-SFC API.

Related Legislators

Bill Sponsor:

Related Documents

SCC Committee Report
SRC Committee Report
Fiscal Impact Report
SCONC Committee Report

This measure makes comprehensive changes to the Water Project Finance Act, and other acts that have been used to fund water projects, in an effort to consolidate the financing of water projects in one place and to use funds more effectively. It places the first level of authority to manage water project financing with the Water Trust Board. The purpose of the Water Project Finance Act is expanded to include developing “a rational, cogent statewide process for priority ranking of water project applications based on the short- and long-term water capital plan.”


The bill adds two public members to the Water Trust Board, one who represents water associations organized under the Sanitary Projects Act and another who represents colonias. The measure gives the Legislative Council rather than the Governor the power to appoint the public members.


The Water Trust Board is given the power to hire staff and creates the Water Trust Office to seat that staff. It creates a “technical review team” to evaluate applications for financing, among other duties. It appropriates $750,000 to the Office of the State Engineer to establish the Water Trust Office. The Board is directed to adopt rules setting forth the application process for the financing of water projects and tweaks some of the eligibility requirements for projects.


The bill directs the Board to lead the development of a statewide comprehensive multiyear “water capital plan” for water infrastructure and other water purposes.


The bill also amends the New Mexico Finance Authority Act, the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund Act, the Tribal Infrastructure Act, the Colonias Infrastructure Act, the Severance Tax Bonding Act, the New Mexico Community Assistance Act, Wastewater Facility Construction Loan Act, the Rural Infrastructure Act and the Water Research, Conservation and Development Act to make those acts consistent with the Water Project Finance Act with respect to water projects and the re-organization of water project financing.


This bill appears to be a positive step towards organizing the financing of water projects so that the process is more efficient. Another potential benefit might be that the process will be more understandable for the public. A potential drawback, as with any consolidation of power, might be that the Water Trust Board could make bad decisions with respect to conservation depending on the composition of the board.


Date of Summary:  1/30/2014


SB 198 died in the Senate Finance Committee.


Updated 7/31/14