Top Water Officials Briefed on Rio Grande

Mar 21, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Top water officials from New Mexico, Colorado and Texas are indicating a willingness to work together as severe drought continues to hammer the region's water supplies.

Still, there was tension Thursday as officials with the Rio Grande Compact Commission gathered in Santa Fe for an annual meeting focused on management of the river.

New Mexico State Engineer Scott Verhines told his fellow commissioners he was disappointed the fight over the lower Rio Grande continues.

Texas officials say they're trying to defend their water rights.

Texas and New Mexico are in the middle of a legal battle before the U.S. Supreme Court over the Rio Grande.

It could be years before the court makes a decision, but some experts say the case could set precedent when it comes to state rights in the drought-stricken West.