Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District applauded the passage of H.R. 1461, the Mescalero Apache Leasing Authorization Act. The bill, which authorizes the Mescalero Apache Tribe to lease its adjudicated water rights for up to 99 years, passed in the House today with unanimous support.
"With communities throughout southeastern New Mexico suffering from a severe drought and in need of additional water, this legislation authorizing the leasing of water rights will help both the Mescalero Apache and non-tribal communities in the region," Congressman Luján said. "The revenue gained from leasing water will help the tribe improve their community services and benefit the surrounding communities that are in need of critical water resources during this dry season."
H.R. 1461 was introduced by Rep. Steve Peace and cosponsored by Rep. Luján. A companion version of the bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Jeff Bingaman.