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Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said the report did “a solid job” cataloguing Interior’s efforts to respond to climate change. Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, sponsored a 2009 law that aims to improve water management in the West and increase analysis of water-related data. The report released Monday was prepared in response to the Secure Water Act.

“Faced with forecasts of decreased stream flows and increased temperatures, it’s more important than ever for communities to actively plan for changing conditions,” Bingaman said. “In arid environments like New Mexico, every drop counts, and conservation and efficient water use are essential. Having tools available to accurately monitor existing water supplies, and to accurately predict future scenarios, can provide more certainty to water users and help decrease tensions.”


Associated Press writer John Flesher in Traverse City, Mich., contributed to this report.