A recent oil boom in Southern New Mexico has resulted in increased hydraulic fracturing operations in the region and, as a result, a steady and reliable supply of water to fuel such operations is required. As New Mexico regulations make it difficult to acquire a steady supply of water within the state, oil and natural gas producers are turning to unregulated areas in Texas, which permit unlimited pumping of groundwater. However, this groundwater is being pumped from the Pecos Valley aquifer, which is the same source of water that New Mexico is regulating within its borders. This issue is only one in a series of interstate water feuds between the two states. This Comment identifies the current practice of groundwater imports from Texas into New Mexico and the methods New Mexico might employ to limit or prevent such imports. Additionally, this Comment discusses an interstate compact as an alternative to New Mexico attempting to regulate water imports, which would undoubtedly lead to extensive litigation.
Kameron B. Smith,
Subsurface Tension: The Conflicting Laws of Texas and New Mexico Over Shared Groundwater and New Mexico’s Desire for Regulation,
Tex. A&M L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/lawreview/vol7/iss2/5