On December 5, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico announced at COP28 a $500M investment to address the state’s critical water supply issues by supporting clean energy production and reducing reliance on traditional freshwater sources. This investment will be used to purchase treated brackish and treated produced water – which cannot be used for human or agricultural consumption without treatment – to build the state’s strategic water supply for processes like creating green hydrogen, storing renewable energy, and manufacturing electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies.
ECOS Secretary-Treasurer Jim Kenney of New Mexico, who also attended the conference, notes that water reuse safeguards freshwater for communities while offering opportunities for clean energy expansion and green manufacturing.
While the initial $500M investment will include appropriations from upcoming legislative sessions and secured through revenues from severance taxes on oil, gas, and other natural resources, New Mexico seeks to serve as a model for advanced market commitments. Companies that are awarded an advanced market commitment contract can secure private capital to build and operate water treatment facilities with the assurance that the State of New Mexico will purchase the water. This model will reduce the risk of private sector investment and spur first movers to build otherwise costly infrastructure. From there, the state will make that water available for a variety of water-intensive renewable energy projects.
Learn more about New Mexico’s announcement here.