In-stream flow, the concept of keeping water flowing in its natural channels (streams and rivers) to preserve the ecological conditions of the waterway and its flanking lands, is an increasingly important and controversial subject in New Mexico and the West as a whole. Water is life in the dry Southwest, and as drought conditions persist, maintaining some water in our waterways is crucial if we want these fragile ecosystems to survive.
Flowing water helps to nourish riparian areas alongside rivers and streams, providing habitat for a huge range of plant life, trees, animals and insects. It replenishes and recharges underground aquifers and provides opportunities for fishing and boating. It provides critical moisture in a land increasingly faced with less snowpack and hotter, drier conditions, enhancing quality of life for everyone and everything.