When water is released from the Caballo Dam, the pumps could easily extract water that belongs to the Rio Grande Project -- more specifically, Texas.

"It doesn't look normal," said Harringer. "You can obviously see it's right in the Rio Grande itself, it's pumping from the floor of the river.


According to Commissioner Gordon, the lawsuit was 30 years in the making -- well before he began his work with the Rio Grande Compact. It's garnering more attention because the drought is being compared to the worst our area has ever been subjected too. Some say this is beginning to look worse than the infamous drought of the 1950s.

The lawsuit isn't simple though.

With New Mexico "delivering" it's water to Texas on New Mexican soil, there is confusion over what Texas is required to do.

Gordon said the lawsuit looks to ensure that Texas receives the proper amount of water that it's expected to get, but said the feeling he gets from New Mexico is that they have fulfilled their obligation once they release the water from Caballo Dam.

Gordon's concern lies within the 90 miles where New Mexico farmers can pickup water bound for Texas that isn't necessarily there water to take. Water is calculated for the Elephant Butte Water Improvement District, and the El Paso Water Improvement District has gone as far as making a compact with the New Mexico district to ensure they both receive the proper amount of water, but New Mexico attempted to invalidate the agreement. In other words, New Mexico went against a water district within it's own state.

ABC-7 reached out to New Mexico's Governor Susana Martinez for comment. An interview was not granted. However statements have been made out of her office in the past, the most recent in January where a spokesman said: "We will continue to strongly defend New Mexico's water rights. We are reviewing the Texas lawsuit and will decide how best to protect the water that is so vital to New Mexican families and businesses. We won't cede a single inch of New Mexico water to Texas."

The lawsuit may take between five and 10 years to settle assuming the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear the suit. According to the compact made in 1938, any dispute between the states involved in the pact would have to be settled there.