Amigos Bravos Inc

A nonprofit organization

2 donors

Amigos Bravos

Formed in 1988, Amigos Bravos is a statewide water conservation organization guided by social justice principles and dedicated to preserving and restoring the ecological and cultural integrity of New Mexico’s water and the communities that depend on it. 

Since our first victory in 1990, which saved the Guadalupe Mountains from all future mining activities, Amigos Bravos has not faltered in our commitment to protect New Mexico's precious waters and the communities that depend on them.

The Dairy Industry in New Mexico

The dairy industry in New Mexico is the number one agricultural activity in the state, with 159 dairies and approximately 325,000 milk cows.

Dairies in New Mexico generate almost 6,400,000 gallons of manure every day.  That’s as much waste as 800,000 residents in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Roswell, and North Valley and South Valley in Bernalillo County combined. 

New Mexico Environment Department monitoring data show that nearly two-thirds of New Mexico’s dairies have contaminated groundwater with excess nitrogen from cattle manure. 90% of New Mexico’s drinking water is drawn from groundwater sources.

The contaminants entering New Mexico’s drinking water supply pose a number of risks to water quality and public health.  In addition to Nitrates, E. coli and Salmonella, other pathogens, hormones, and antibiotics are entering into our drinking water.

In 2009, the State Legislature ordered the NM Environment Department to create a dairy industry-specific rule for protecting groundwater from dairy industry waste.  The dairy industry soon realized they were not going to be able to write the regulations and that residents in dairy country and environmental groups – including Amigos Bravos – were also going to participate.  The dairy industry has been fighting new rules for five years.

Watching the Watchers

The Dairy Rule finally went into effect late in 2012. It is intended to make it easier to monitor dairy waste and improve waste management practices. However, Amigos Bravos has been following the permit process under the new Rule, and the State – under the Martínez administration – has been allowing dairies to continue using practices that the new Rule prohibits and that will allow contamination to continue.

The Need

Investigating all the permits being issued by the NM Environment Department for almost 160 dairies and checking to make sure they follow the Dairy Rule is an extremely time-consuming process.  When we find violations, we need technical and legal assistance to support a challenge against the permits and the state agency.


Our fundraising goal is $12,000.  The money raised through this campaign will allow Amigos Bravos to dedicate staff time to an intensive effort to investigate new permits, hold the Environment Department and the dairy industry accountable, and put an end to unchecked dairy contamination of our waters.

For 26 years Amigos Bravos has fought very effectively to protect and restore New Mexico’s rivers and waters. Amigos Bravos is a New Mexico statewide not-for-profit (501.c.3) water conservation organization based in Taos and Albuquerque.  All donations are tax-deductible. To learn more about our organization, the work we do, and how to become a member visit:

Organization Data


Organization name

Amigos Bravos Inc

Tax id (EIN)





PO Box 238
TAOS, NM 87571


(575) 758-3874