53rd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2017


John Pinto and Benny Shendo, Jr.









     WHEREAS, water is sacred and the essence of all life; and

     WHEREAS, two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered by water, and the human body consists of seventy-five percent water; and

     WHEREAS, over sixty-eight percent of the fresh water on earth is trapped in glaciers, and thirty percent of fresh water is in the ground; and

     WHEREAS, a person can live for about a month without food but only for about a week without water; and

     WHEREAS, approximately four hundred billion gallons of water are used in the United States every day; and

     WHEREAS, seven hundred eighty million people lack access to an improved water source; and

     WHEREAS, water is New Mexico's most precious resource, especially during times of drought; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico's water sources are fragile and face serious ecological challenges; and

     WHEREAS, the Rio Grande, essential to New Mexico's agricultural regions, is polluted by raw sewage and toxic chemicals; and

     WHEREAS, the national conservation group, American rivers, ranked the Rio Grande as the seventh most endangered river in the United States; and

     WHEREAS, water has a special meaning to Native Americans, and it is recognized as being sacred and the essence of all life; and

     WHEREAS, water is medicine and is spiritual to the Navajo Nation and all New Mexico tribes and pueblos; and

     WHEREAS, on the Navajo reservation, the community of Shiprock and surrounding areas rely on the water from the San Juan and Animas rivers for irrigation; and

     WHEREAS, on August 5, 2015, an environmental disaster occurred at the Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado, where contractors accidentally destroyed the plug holding water trapped inside the mine, which caused an overflow of the pond, spilling three million gallons of wastewater into the Animas river; and

     WHEREAS, the spill has affected the waterways of municipalities in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico, as well as the Navajo Nation, and remediation is still under way; and

     WHEREAS, to Native Americans, water is considered among the most important resources because it nourishes the human body, livestock and all plants and animals and deserves respect; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico tribes and pueblos are diligently protecting their water rights through treaties, sovereignty rights, adjudications and litigation; and

     WHEREAS, today, the world's rivers, seas and oceans are exploited, contaminated and mistreated, causing global alarm; and

     WHEREAS, people must continue to be aware and take action to protect water sources; and

     WHEREAS, people must look for alternatives and new innovations to maintain and preserve water quality and safety;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that water be protected, because water is life, it is sacred and it is alive; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that February 3, 2017 be declared "Water is Life Day" in the senate; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the governor, the state engineer, the chair of the appropriate interim committee that studies water and natural resources and New Mexico's congressional delegation.