New survey shows that New Mexicans are deeply concerned about the future of water.

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Thornburg Foundation & Water Foundation logos

Three out of four voters agree we need to act now to ensure future water supplies.

SANTA FE — January 21, 2022 — As New Mexico enters the 2022 legislative session, a new survey commissioned by the Water Foundation and Thornburg Foundation shows that voters are deeply concerned about the state’s water supply. Three out of four voters agree that we need to act now to ensure that future generations have an adequate water supply. And 69% of New Mexico voters say that drought is a serious, or very serious, problem for the state’s rivers and water supply. Moreover, the data show that New Mexicans’ concern for our water supply is shared across the political spectrum. 

The survey was conducted to provide useful data on how residents feel about the future of their water supply. It asked voters to rate the importance of various goals as New Mexico develops ways to help solve current and future water supply issues. 

The results demonstrate that the public strongly supports all water data being shared and an effort to modernize the state’s water management system. Remarkably, four out of five voters agree that it’s important for the state to take action to protect the health of rivers and streams, to ensure a reliable supply of water for farms, and to keep water rates affordable.

“It’s heartening to see that New Mexicans care about the health and protection of water in our state. After all, water is life, especially in New Mexico,” commented Allan Oliver, executive director of the Thornburg Foundation. “Whether you live in a rural or urban area and regardless of how you vote, it’s an issue that affects all of us — and the poll demonstrates most New Mexicans agree that it’s best to take action right now.” 

Additionally, voters show significant support for policies that address water-related challenges. These challenges are complex and require the right people to solve them and an appropriate amount of funding. They showed clear support for increasing funding or dedicating funding to:

  • Prioritizing projects that ensure adequate water supplies for future generations 
  • Modernizing water quality, supply, and data systems management
  • Supporting small rural water systems that are managed by their local government, and 
  • Improving the health of rivers and streams.

“Water is fundamental to New Mexico’s traditions and values, but too often it is simply out of sight and out of mind,” noted Nina Carranco of the Water Foundation. “This survey shows that voters across party lines and throughout the state expect our leaders to protect and invest in water for New Mexico’s rivers, farms and ranches, and communities.”

It’s clear that New Mexicans want our farms, families, and future generations to have access to clean, life-giving water. Now is the time to make that happen.  


The Water Foundation and Thornburg Foundation both invest in the advancement of modern and resilient water systems in New Mexico. The commissioned survey was conducted by Research & Polling, Inc. To learn more about how the foundations are supporting New Mexico, visit and 

In late 2021, Research and Polling Inc conducted 706 phone interviews with registered voters from a cross-section of rural, suburban, and urban parts of the state. 

Additional Resources

Press Release

Survey Two-Pager

Survey Data


Posted on

January 28, 2022