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On Tuesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico announced a $500 million investment to establish a strategic water supply, enhancing drought resilience and supporting clean energy production.
The state plans to procure treated brackish water and produced water, a byproduct of fossil fuel extraction, to support various renewable energy processes. The announcement was made at the UN climate summit in Dubai.
The plan, expected to commence in early 2024, will involve soliciting proposals from companies under an “advanced market commitment,” reducing private sector investment risks and encouraging early infrastructure development. The governor’s office explained that these contracts would enable companies to build and operate water treatment facilities, with the state guaranteeing the purchase of the water produced.
This water will then be made available for various renewable energy projects. “Water reuse safeguards freshwater for communities while offering opportunities for clean energy expansion and green manufacturing,” said New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney, highlighting the dual benefits of the initiative.
With its substantial brackish water resources and significant quantities of produced water from oil and gas operations, New Mexico officials say they can leverage these resources effectively.