For more than 50 years our city leaders pursued a policy of legal action to acquire water from the Gallinas River that had no foundation in New Mexico law. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of tax dollars, were expended litigating the “Pueblo Water Rights Doctrine” starting in the 1950s. When the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the doctrine, a return to “the rule of law” in water rights should have been established. Instead, the court found the city had a “reliance interest claim” due to the prolonged court battle.
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