Water Conservation Fund Group
The Water Conservation Fund Group administers the Water Conservation Fund (WCF) and provides monitoring services to public water systems in accordance with the statutory requirements.
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.
Monitoring Services for Public Water Systems (Sampling)
The Monitoring Program within the WCF is responsible for collecting water samples from over 1,100 public water systems throughout the state. The DWB Monitoring Team collects water samples for chemical analysis from systems’ entry points in accordance with their respective monitoring schedule requirements and submits such samples to certified labs for testing. Pulic water systems are responsible for collecting and submitting water samples for microbial analysis, collecting samples from distribution points. The Water Conservation Fund pays for all laboratory analyses for all samples collected from a public water system that are for the purposes of determining compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act and NM Drinking Water Regulations.
The Monitoring Program within WCF is also responsible for coordinating water samples for Ground Water Under the Direct Influence of Surface Water (GWUDIS), as these samples are necessary for properly classifying a public water system and determining sampling requirements.
Finally, the Monitoring Program is responsible for processing public water system “Waiver Applications”. If a system meets the criteria of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the NM Drinking Water Regulations for alternate (decreased) sampling schedules, a waiver can be granted. Waivers can be granted for an assortment of sample types and the term of a waiver depends upon the type of waiver granted.
For more information about monitoring of public water systems, please see the Sampling & Analysis section.