Many of New Mexico's water systems are formed as Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Associations (MDWCAs), a unique organization authorized by the Sanitary Projects Act. There are approximately 154 MDWCAs spread throughout the State. MDWCAs were first authorized by the State Legislature in 1947 as a solution to a public health crisis, the hazardous practices of use of water from ditches, rivers, and shallow wells. While the Act was successful in bringing safe drinking water to rural New Mexico, much of the language became outdated, irrelevant or inapplicable.
A substantial revision of the Sanitary Projects Act was passed by the New Mexico Legislature in 2006. These revisions unequivocally made MDWCAs into public bodies and political subdivisions of the state. NMED obtained increased oversight over MDWCAs, including training requirements for board members, requiring an annual member accountability report, and the ability to intervene in operations and management with full powers after a hearing. Click the links below for important information pertaining to MDWCAs.