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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Traditional water and land grant associations in New Mexico would have access to additional federal resources for conservation projects under legislation introduced by members of the state’s congressional delegation.

The measure was introduced by Sen. Tom Udall and is being co-sponsored by fellow Democrat Martin Heinrich.

The legislation would clear the way for acequias and land grants to apply directly for federal funding and technical assistance for projects such as increasing irrigation efficiency for farmers and further conservation of soil and other natural resources.

Udall says the state’s traditional communities have been good stewards of the land and have been an integral part of New Mexico’s water infrastructure since before statehood.

He says these rural communities should have the tools they need to make the most of every natural resource.