New Mexico - 2012 State Policy Information New Mexico State Flag 

Below are results for New Mexico from the 2011/2012 Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard survey.

Use the links below to jump to a specific question:

Q1. State Agencies Q8. Water Loss Q15. Implementation Requirements
Q2. Toilet Regulations   Q9. Permitting    Q16. State Funding for Conservation
Q3. Showerhead Regulations Q10. Drought Plans Q17. Technical Assistance
Q4. Urinal Regulations Q11. Conservation Plans Q18. Volumetric Billing  
Q5. Clothes Washer Regulations Q12. Authority to Approve Plans Q19. Metered Connections 
Q6. PRSV Regulations Q13. Plan Update Frequency Q20. ET Microclimate Information  
Q7. Building or Plumbing Codes Q14. Planning Framework Additional Information







  1. What state agency or agencies are in charge of drinking water conservation/efficiency?

    Office of the State Engineer – water quantity
    New Mexico Environment Department - water quality, drinking water standards, graywater, State Revolving Funds
    NM Finance Authority/Water Trust Board – grant management
    NM Public Regulatory Commission – rates for investor owned utilities and water districts
    New Mexico Statutes

  2. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for toilets that is more stringent than the federal standard?  


  3. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for showerheads that is more stringent than the federal standard? 

  4. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for urinals that is more stringent than the federal standard?

  5. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for clothes washers that is more stringent than the federal standard? 


  6. Does the state have a water consumption regulation for pre-rinse spray valves that is more stringent than the federal standard?  


  7. Does the state have mandatory building or plumbing codes requiring water efficient products that exceed the federal standard? 

  8. Does the state have any regulations or policies for water utilities regarding water loss in the utility distribution system?  


  9. Does the state require conservation activities as part of its water permitting process or water right permit?

    No, but the state engineer has discretionary authority.

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-5-7

    "[The state engineer] may also refuse to consider or approve any application or notice of intention to make application or to order the publication of notice of any application if, in his opinion, approval would be contrary to the conservation of water within the state or detrimental to the public welfare of the state."

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-5-7 Text
  10. Does the state require preparation of drought emergency plans by water utilities or cities on any prescribed schedule?  

    No, but entities may draft plans. 

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-14-3.2(B)

    "A covered entity may develop, adopt and submit to the state engineer by December 31, 2005 a comprehensive water conservation plan, including a drought management plan."

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-14-3.2 Text

  11. Does the state have a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation/efficiency separate from drought emergency plans?   

    Water conservation plans are required in order to be eligible for financial assistance.

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-14-3.2(G)

    "After December 31, 2005, neither the water trust board nor the New Mexico finance authority shall accept an application from a covered entity for financial assistance in the construction of any water diver-sion, storage, conveyance, water treatment or wastewater treatment facility unless the covered entity includes a copy of its water conservation plan."  

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-14-3.2 Text

  12. Does the state have the authority to approve or reject the conservation plans? 

  13. How often does the state require the water utilities to submit a potable water conservation plan (not part of a drought emergency plan)? 


  14. If the state has a mandatory planning requirement for potable water conservation separate from drought emergency plans, is there a framework or prescribed methodology?


    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-14-3.2(D)

    "D.  In developing a water conservation plan pursuant to this section:      
    (1) municipalities and counties shall consider ordinances and codes to encourage conservation measures; covered entities without ordinance or code enforcement ability shall consider incentives to encourage voluntary compliance with a set of conservation guidelines. Covered entities shall identify and implement best practices in their operations to improve conservation of the resources; and        
    (2) the covered entity shall consider, and incorporate into its plan if appropriate, at least the follow-ing:         
    (a) water-efficient fixtures and appliances, including toilets, urinals, showerheads and faucets;      
    (b) low-water-use landscaping and efficient irrigation;        
    (c) water-efficient commercial and industrial water-use processes;      
    (d) water reuse systems for both potable and nonpotable water;      
    (e) distribution system leak repair;      
    (f) dissemination of information regarding water-use efficiency measures, including public educa tion programs and demonstrations of water-saving techniques;       
    (g) water rate structures designed to encourage water-use efficiency and reuse in a fiscally responsible manner; and      
    (h) incentives to implement water-use efficiency techniques, including rebates to customers or others, to encourage the installation of water-use       efficiency and reuse measures."

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-14-3.2 Text
  15. Does the state require water utilities to implement conservation measures, beyond just the preparation and submittal of plans? 


  16. Does the state offer financial assistance to utilities, cities, or counties for urban water conservation programs such as a revolving loan fund? Grants?  Bonds?  Appropriations?

    Yes, New Mexico has funding opportunities beyond the DWSRF and CWSRF.

    New Mexico Finance Authority Water Project Fund

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-4A-7 . Conditions for grants and loans.

    "A. Grants and loans shall be made only to qualifying entities that:  

    ...(7) except in the case of an emergency,  submit a water conservation plan with its application if required to do so and one is not on file with the state engineer, pursuant to Section 72-14-3.2 NMSA 1978.

    B.   Plans and specifications for a water project shall be approved by the authority, after review and upon the recommendation of the state engineer and the department of environment, before grant or loan disbursements to pay for construction costs are made to a qualifying entity.  Plans and specifications for a water project shall incorporate available technologies and operational design for water use efficiency."

    N.M. STAT. ANN. § 72-4A-7 Text
  17. Does the state offer technical assistance for urban water conservation programs? 


    Office of the State Engineer

    New Mexico State Board of Finance
  18. Does the state require volumetric billing?

  19. What percentage or number of publicly supplied water connections (residential and nonresidential) are metered in your state?
  20. Does the state provide statewide ET microclimate information for urban landscapes?  


    The NMOSE Irrigation Calculator 
     uses ET data on a sq kilometer basis to estimate irrigation schedules.  This data is embedded in a calculation where the user only sees the end results.

    Additional ET data is available on the New Mexico State University website.

Additional Information: 

New Mexico's Public Comments regarding The Water Efficiency and Conservation State Scorecard: An Assessment of Laws and Policies 

A Water Conservation Guide for Public Utilities

A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Users

Office of the State Engineer GPCD Calculator

Rules and Regulations Governing the Appropriation and Use of the Surface Waters of New Mexico

New Mexico Drought Plan  

New Mexico Gray Water Guide