More specifically, WPS staff cooperatively work to educate others and implement best management practices (BMPs) to reduce nonpoint source (NPS) pollutants from entering the surface and ground water resources of New Mexico. Workplans developed and funded under CWA §319(h) comprise a variety of efforts, including watershed association development, riparian area restoration, spill response, and treatment of abandoned mines.
The WPS also coordinates the state's CWA §401 certification and §404 dredge-and-fill permits with the US Army Corps of Engineers in addition to enforcing portions of the New Mexico Mining Act pertaining to water quality. In response to the §404 reissued nationwide permits on April 13, 2012, a Conditional §401 Certification for discharges to ephemeral surface water has been issued.
New Mexico’s approach to water quality planning and management has evolved substantially over the last three decades, largely in response to the changing federal and state statutory mandates. Although the state currently conducts water quality planning on a statewide level, these efforts are focusing toward more of a watershed level in the context of statewide planning and management efforts. That is, planning and management are moving toward a holistic strategy to protect or attain the desired beneficial uses and levels of water quality within a watershed, including, where appropriate, protection of human health and aquatic ecosystems. A successful watershed protection approach must be founded on cooperative interaction between the federal, state, and local levels of government, and between the public and private sectors.