Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Rep. Ben Ray Luján Speaks to U.S. House on NM Water Issues
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D, NM-03) speaks on the floor of the U.S. House yesterday about water availability and allocation issues important to his district and New Mexico. Rep. Luján explains that "New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment because of our people, beautiful landscapes, clear skies and fresh air."
Among other things, Rep. Luján mentions his experience in tending to the acequia on his family's small farm saying, "I know the importance of water to rural economies across America. Land, water and sustainability are not only fundamental to life in my state they are fundamental to rich cultures ad traditions that make New Mexico great like acequias and land grants which are an essential part of the rural economies in my district. Let us work together in protecting New Mexico's rich culture and traditions."
Rep. Lujan's statement relates to the fact that the U.S. House will soon take up the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which was recently passed by the U.S. Senate. Elements in the massive bill that pertain to New Mexico include the establishment of the Sabinoso Wilderness in New Mexico, settlement of a water dispute that began in 1975 between the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation over the resources in the San Juan River and financial assistance to the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority for the planning, design, and construction of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System. A summary of the major provisions of the omnibus bill is provided by the Democratic Policy Committee.