The New Mexico Water Data Act is 3 years old now! In April 2022, Stacy Timmons provided a webinar to describe the current state of implementation of the Water Data Act. Her presentation underscored the urgency of taking action to modernize water data is managed, shared, and integrated for New Mexico. With current drought conditions, limited snowpack and early wildfires, New Mexico cannot afford to continue some of its old, familiar data sharing practices. Very quick access to high quality data for informed decision-making is becoming increasingly critical in the face of hotter and drier conditions.
With three years on the water data act, and very limited funding, progress has been steady. The Water Data Initiative has built a functional data catalog using free, open-source technology, and is working with data providers to build and maintain it. Meanwhile, data is also being shared by application programming interfaces (APIs), with machine readable data provided in a specific format. From these APIs, water data tool applications are being developed and will be made available this summer for user feedback.
The big news for New Mexico this year is that the Water Data Initiative, with legislative support in the April 2022 special session, is gaining significant funding. The Office of the State Engineer and Interstate Stream Commission will now be working with an additional $410,000 of annually recurring funding, in addition to a one-year boost to their budget of $500,000 for non-recurring expenses related to the work of the Water Data Act. The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources will also see an increase in recurring budget of an additional $150,000, added to its existing $100,000 in state funding to support the Water Data Act. We are thrilled to see the momentum growing to fund the work of the Directing Agencies in the Water Data Act.
The NMWDI is excited to grow our network and to have you as a contributor or collaborator. If you have a need for water data, please share it with us! If you have data you would like to contribute to the Water Data catalog, please register and reach out to us so we can help you with any technical issues you might have.