Gov. Gary Johnson has declared a statewide drought emergency, not that any needed to be told that was what we were experiencing. We haven’t seen any real precipitation for months — and we’ve already experienced a major fire.

The declaration will make New Mexico eligible for 25 federal programs. With the war on terrorism costing the country so much money and so many other states experiencing drought — even places in the Middle Atlantic and New England states — the funds available may be extremely limited.

We think it’s about time that the county and municipalities held a session to consider our water future, what we will do during this crisis and whether we can get any help we need from those federal programs the governor was talking about.

We should invite the conservancy district to meet with us, the agricultural extension service and any other experts we can think of. We should consider whether we need to advise people about watering their gardens and lawns this summer and about whether they’ll be enough water to keep our air conditioners going and our iced tea flowing.

Perhaps this would be a good time to address issues such as water rights and water pollution and a host of other issues.

Surely someone from state government would be able to help us with research and information — and we have experts right here among us as well.

Let’s not run out of water.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.