The New Mexico Ground Water Association (NMGWA) is holding its quarterly meeting April 27-28, in Albuquerque. National Ground Water Association (NGWA) certification exams will be administered. New Mexico currently has no licensing testing requirements, and the association is hoping to convince the state to adopt NGWA's exams. Association president Alan Eades (Eades Drilling and Pump Service, Hobbs, N.M.) says, "In New Mexico, to get a driller's license, you send in a picture of your drilling rig and a $2,500 performance bond. The National test is ready, and it's a good test - 17 other states use it."
The New Mexico State Engineer recently attempted to have a bill passed that would have given it the authority to deny new domestic well permits. This was not embraced by the drilling industry and a lobbyist was hired. The bill never made it out of committee. Notes Eades: "We do recognize the need to conserve water but we felt the language in the bill was too broad and would set a very dangerous precedent." Eades says that licensing could go a long way in helping resolve several water management issues in New Mexico.