Congratulations to Santa Fe partners Caren Friedman, Rosalind Bienvenu, and Justin Kaufman, who successfully convinced the New Mexico Court of Appeals to affirm the judgment in a complex water law appeal. DP&S, along with Paul Hultin and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, represented a consortium of individuals and entities (“Protestants”) who opposed Aquifer Science’s water application, which sought to appropriate groundwater for a speculative, luxury, resort-style development with two golf courses in the East Mountains near Albuquerque. In a formal published opinion, the Court of Appeals agreed that the New Mexico State Engineer’s denial of Aquifer Science’s application was proper because granting the application would result in the impairment of existing wells and would be contrary to the conservation of water. On the conservation prong of the governing statute, Protestants argued that the State Engineer should take into consideration climate change when addressing water applications, prompting the Court of Appeals to call on the State Engineer and the New Mexico Legislature to “provide guidance regarding climate change and conservation before it is judicially imposed.” Finally, the Court of Appeals affirmed a cost award of nearly $400,000 to Protestants as the prevailing parties, and, as a matter of first impression, held that Protestants are entitled to post-judgment interest on that award. You can read the opinion in Aquifer Science, LLC v. Verhines, et al. here.