The Cimarron Watershed in New Mexico has experienced significant nonpoint source pollution, stemming from recreation and tourism development as well as runoff from forests, private ranch land, and range land. In support of Total Maximum Daily Load implementation by the State of New Mexico's Environment Department (to comply with Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act), Meridian was hired to help the community develop the capacity to improve water quality in the watershed.
Meridian facilitated quasi-monthly meetings over the course of three years among a diverse array of stakeholders, including members of the general public; water users; private landowners; local, state, and federal government officials; environmental group representatives; businesspeople; ranchers and farmers; recreation specialists; teachers; and students. Meridian assisted the stakeholders in forming the Cimarron Watershed Alliance (CWA), and then helped the CWA complete a detailed Watershed Restoration Action Strategy and apply for state grants (which they received) to carry out the restoration work.
Meridian’s work with the CWA ended in December 2004, after the group transitioned to local leadership. The CWA remains active and is now in the process of implementing best management practices to improve surface water quality in the watershed.