Water Conservation Fund
A water conservation fee was established by legislation in 1993, which charges the operator of a public water system $0.03 per thousand gallons of drinking water produced. The collections of the fee are managed by the Tax and Revenue Department and the revenues are then deposited into the WCF.
The Drinking Water Bureau (DWB) uses this fund to:
- perform the administrative and management tasks associated with administering the fund
- oversee and direct the Monitoring Program (a.k.a. “Sampling Team,” or “Samplers”)
- process sampling waiver applications
- provide operator certification training relating to sampling requirements as necessary.
Vulnerability assessments are also eligible for funding under the WCF; however, the DWB performs those activities under the Source Water and Wellhead Protection Program, which is funded through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund ‘set-asides.’
In 2013, the WCF requirements were revised to include the development of rules to establish and implement a public participation process to identify the contaminants to be sampled in the following sampling period. The DWB is currently developing those rules and will implement once finalized and adopted by the NMED. The DWB will work with stakeholders to develop the list of contaminants in accordance with the rules and will prioritize program activities based on protection of public health and available resources. Additionally, the WCF will produce an annual report that describes all expenditures and activities conducted under the WCF.