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Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham

Representing the 1st District of New Mexico

Rep. Lujan Grisham Floor Remarks on Water Innovation Amendment

Jun 8, 2018
Press Release

Rep. Lujan Grisham Floor Remarks on Water Innovation Amendment

Washington, D.C. – Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives to offer an amendment to the FY 2019 Energy and Water Development/Leg Branch/Military Construction-Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5895).

Rep. Lujan Grisham’s amendment would prioritize 15 million dollars for the Bureau of Reclamation’s water research and development program which invests in innovative water purification and desalination technologies in order to increase the water supply for agricultural, environmental, residential, and industrial uses. Rep. Lujan Grisham’s amendment passed with a voice vote.

According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, 99.9% of New Mexico is under drought conditions.

Below is a link to the video and transcript of her remarks:

Click here to watch the full remarks.

“Thank you Mr. Chairman.

“99.9% of New Mexico is under drought conditions, including over 60% of the state that is suffering from extreme drought or worse.

“It is so dry that more than half the state is at significant risk for dangerous and destructive wildfires and long stretches of the Rio Grande riverbed are dry as a bone. 

“As I speak, there are wildfires raging across the state including a massive fire in Ute Park which is threatening multiple communities and hundreds of buildings.

“On top of that, last winter’s mountain snowpack was the second-lowest on record, creating significant issues for New Mexico’s agriculture industry.

“Farmers are leaving fields unplanted and ranchers are downsizing their herds.

“Many farmers and ranchers—including families who have worked their land for generations—are worried that they will not have the water to grow their crops or the hay to feed their livestock in the months and years ahead.

“Extreme drought is the new normal in large parts of the American Southwest and we have to develop innovative technologies and management practices to both preserve the water resources we have and increase access to previously unusable water.

“My amendment intends to prioritize 15 million dollars for the Bureau of Reclamation’s water research and development programs.

“It is critical that we make new investments to develop innovative methods to recycle, reuse, and purify water for agricultural, environmental, residential, and industrial uses.

“This funding also supports the Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility located in Alamogordo, New Mexico that develops more cost-effective and efficient ways to desalinate and purify water.

“This cutting-edge facility brings together researchers from a range of federal agencies, universities, private companies, and state and local governments to work collaboratively on sustainably using billions of previously untapped brackish groundwater in New Mexico.

“Mr. Chairman, if we don’t develop innovative water management strategies to do more with less, we won’t have the water we need to plant our fields, feed our livestock, and grow our economy.

“I urge my colleagues to support my amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.”