Supreme Court Invites Solicitor General to File Brief Expressing United States Views on Texas-New Mexico Water Dispute
On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court invited the U.S. Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the views of the United States regarding a complaint filed in the U.S. Supreme Court by the State of Texas against the State of New Mexico regarding the allocation of water carried by the Rio Grande river. Texas’ complaint alleges that the the Rio Grande Project Act, enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1905, and the Rio Grande Compact, signed in 1938 by Texas, New Mexico and the State of Colorado ("Colorado"), require New Mexico to deliver specified amounts of Rio Grande water into Elephant Butte Reservoir, located near Engle, New Mexico.
The complaint states that, once delivered to the Elephant Butte Reservoir, the water belongs and should be allocated to beneficiaries in southern New Mexico and Texas. According to the complaint, New Mexico is not allowing an adequate amount of water to pass through to Texas. Among other things, Texas asks that the Supreme Court declare the rights of Texas to the waters of the Rio Grande pursuant to the Rio Grande Compact and the Rio Grande Project Act and command New Mexico to deliver the Rio Grande waters to Texas in accordance with its obligations.
The case is State of Texas v. State of New Mexico and State of Colorado, case No. 22O141 (U.S.). The docket report for the case is available at the Supreme Court’s website.