Congratulations to Jessica Foster, Justin Kaufman, and Roz Bienvenu who, along with trial counsel, Paul Hultin, secured an important ground water victory this week in New Mexico, on behalf of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center and the San Pedro Creek Estates Homeowners’ Association, among many others. The Second Judicial District Court of New Mexico applied the “conservation” element of the state’s ground water permit statute, NMSA 72-12-3, to uphold the Office of the State Engineer’s denial of a major developer’s application to withdraw ground water in the East Mountains near Albuquerque. Judge Shannon Bacon decided the case against the developer and in favor of the neighboring landowners whose wells would be significantly impacted by the proposed development. This decision sets important precedent going forward as to what a developer must demonstrate to show adequate “conservation” in a permit application under New Mexico’s ground water statute. You can read Judge Bacon’s findings and conclusions here. Coverage of the decision by the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican can be read here and here, respectively. You can also read all about the trial that led to this important decision here.