The Statewide Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP) is the formal document adopted by the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission that delineates a detailed program for approaching New Mexico's unique and complex surface water quality issues. The most recent update of this plan was approved by the WQCC on Tuesday, May 13, 2003.
The WQMP has two primary purposes. First, it is intended to provide a concise summary of the water quality management system in New Mexico and the roles of the major participants in that system. Second, it fulfills the requirements of section (§) 208 (area wide waste treatment management plans) and §303 (Continuing Planning Process) of the federal Clean Water Act and §74-6-4.B of the New Mexico Water Quality Act, that the State maintain a comprehensive water quality management program.
New Mexico’s approach to water quality planning and management has evolved substantially over the last three decades, largely in response to the changing federal and state statutory mandates. Although the State currently conducts water quality planning on a statewide level, these efforts are evolving toward more of a watershed level focus in the context of the statewide planning efforts. (For the purposes of this document the term “watershed” is intended as a flexible concept, referring to an identified geographic area affecting a water body or water segment.)
That is, planning and management are moving toward a holistic strategy to protect or attain the desired beneficial uses and levels of water quality within a watershed, including, where appropriate, protection of human health and aquatic ecosystems. A successful watershed protection approach must be founded on cooperative interaction between the federal, state, and local levels of government, and between the public and private sectors.