**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.**
The Solicitor General, on behalf of the United States, filed a 33-page brief today in the Supreme Court battle over water between Texas and New Mexico. In April, the Supreme Court requested input from the United States on whether it should grant Texas’ motion to file a complaint and hear the case.
Newspapers, including the Albuquerque Journal, are reporting that the brief takes a middle-ground approach by encouraging the Court to hear the case, but also by allowing New Mexico a chance of having the case dismissed early on in the litigation. [Read article here.] I have been unable to obtain a copy of the United States’ brief today, but will post a link as soon as one is available.
In the proposed lawsuit, Texas claims that New Mexico’s issuance of groundwater permits in southern New Mexico between the Elephant Butte Reservoir and the Texas state line is draining the Rio Grande and depriving Texas of the water that it is owed under the 1938 Rio Grande Compact. New Mexico claims that the Compact requires only delivery into Elephant Butte, with which New Mexico has complied, and that it does not address groundwater pumping issues, which are a matter of purely state law. To read a more detailed explanation of the dispute, click here.