The Joe M Stell Water Ombudsman Program

Gallinas River Section, Pecos River Adjudication

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The Joe M Stell Water Ombudsman Program is a New Mexico state-wide program within the Utton Center at the University of New Mexico School of Law. The Ombudsman Program assists unrepresented water right claimants in navigating the New Mexico adjudication process.

What's Happening:

The Subfile phase -- Your water claims are resolved between you and the State.
  The State will mail all subfile packets by the end of 2009.
  The State 's package contains a consent order or order to show cause that describes your water right as it appears in the State's records.
  Respond when you have decided whether you agree with the State’s records.
    Agree Sign consent order form and return to the State.
    Disagree Fill out and sign the Answer.
    Deadline Six (6) months from the date of the letter in the package.
    Meeting You can meet with the State’s lawyers to discuss any changes to your information and how to proceed.
  Lost the package? Want a Meeting? Call: 1-800-928-3766 (press 2 at the voice prompt) and ask for Paul Bossert or Michael LeBlanc.
  Want independent information? Call the Ombudsman 505-277-0551 and ask for Darcy Bushnell or email
If you are unable to reach an agreement with the State, the Court will set a time for a trial.
Remand from the New Mexico Supreme Court on the City of Las Vegas’ equitable water right.
  The City, Storrie Project, the acequias and the State are working to reach an agreement on the City’s water rights without litigation.


Questions about the New Mexico adjudication process? Watch the video.

Video - The Water Rights Adjudication Process in New Mexico

Para ver el vídeo en español:

  • Haga clic en el lazo de sitio web debajo
  • Seleccione el título en español debajo de la pantalla

Video - El Proceso de Juicio de Derechos de Agua en Nuevo Mexico (Temporalmente fuera de servicio)

Other Resources:

The Ombudsman Program does not offer legal advice. Claimants who believe they need legal advice are encouraged to consult with an attorney. The Ombudsman Program is not associated with any court, the federal government or the Office of the State Engineer.