SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Wednesday, the Water Quality Control Commission announced a decision to protect significant portions of six streams with Outstanding National Resource Waters designations. The protected waters include segments of the Rio Grande, Rio Hondo, Lake Fork, East Fork Jemez River, San Antonio Creek, and Redondo Creek.

According to an Economic Development Department press release, the WQCC voted on the Outstanding Waters petition on Tuesday, July 12 following public hearings in April and June. The ONRW designation for these waters supports and protects existing community uses, such as ranching and farming, and will prohibit new pollution from impacting the watersheds.

Significant portions of the six streams garnered support to be granted ONRW designations from over 50 Pueblos, local governments, acequias associations, land grants, schools, neighborhood associations, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. There were also more than 2,215 public comments in support of the petition. The six streams amounts to over 125.9 miles of protected rivers.