The National Ground Water Association filed a brief on July 29, 2011, with the New Mexico Supreme Court arguing that the state’s laws and regulations regarding domestic water wells adequately protect water rights. (Click here to read the brief).  In so doing, NGWA supported a Court of Appeals ruling that overturned a July 8, 2008 decision by the Grant County District Court in the case of Bounds v. D’Antonio. The District Court decision declared that New Mexico’s domestic well statute unconstitutionally violated the due process rights of water rights owners.
The District Court also ordered the state engineer to process applications for domestic wells in the same manner as other applications, such as commercial applications, which could result in significant costs and delays to persons seeking a domestic well. The lead plaintiff, Horace Bounds Jr., argued that his surface water rights were affected by groundwater withdrawals by domestic wells.