ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A judge has put New Mexico’s lawsuit against the federal government over Rio Grande water management on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to take up a separate lawsuit by Texas against New Mexico.
The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/YPQ6Ul) that U.S. District Court Judge James Browning ruled Friday that Texas’ lawsuit might render the issues in the state-federal lawsuit moot.
The litigation revolves around water flowing out of Elephant Butte Reservoir to farms and cities in southern New Mexico and northwest Texas.
New Mexico alleged the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation was releasing water from Elephant Butte for use in Texas that really belonged to New Mexico.
Texas alleged groundwater pumping in the Hatch and Mesilla valleys of southern New Mexico was draining the Rio Grande.