LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico’s Interstate Stream Commission is boosting its efforts to conserve water around the lower Rio Grande. The commission will take grant applications for farmers to let their land go dry.

The idea is to build off of a grant program to support irrigators who choose to stop irrigating their land for a one-year period. From 2020 to 2023, the Interstate Stream Commission gave out 73 grants to do just that, letting about 2,500 acres of land go temporarily dry.

Now, the commission plans on doing more of those grants, this time paying farmers to let the land go dry for two years. Interested landowners can take part in one of several upcoming meetings, and applications to get paid to let your land lay fallow will be accepted from September 25 through October 16, 2023.

Upcoming Sessions:

  • Friday, Sept. 8, 9-11 a.m., Dona Ana Community College, Gadsen Campus, 1700 Ohara Rd., Anthony, NM
  • Friday, Sept. 8, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Village of Hatch Community Center, 837 Hwy 187, Hatch, NM
  • Saturday, Sept. 9, 2-4 p.m., NMSU, Corbett Center Student Union, 3rd Floor, Suite 317, Las Cruces, NM

Registration is required to participate (you can register at this link). The sessions will be both in-person and virtual and will include Spanish language support.