District looks to change up water’s flow

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Management and documentation of water flow through the canals and lateral waterways of the Arch Hurley Conservancy District are key to achieving more efficiencies in the delivery of water for crop irrigation, said district board members at their meeting on Tuesday morning.

In fact, the board scheduled a workshop with a few retired ditch riders and water managers to discuss ways of managing the water flow, following its next meeting on April 2.

The most experienced ditch rider has only six years in the field, said board chairman Larry Perkins.

The ditch riders also have not had the advantage of experiencing many different kinds of weather situations which also affect the delivery of water, said board member David Foote.

Arch Hurley is focusing on the upcoming delivery of water for the spring planting season, said general manager Bill Conrad.

It’s also complicated because not all farmers — i.e. those growing cotton versus those growing wheat — are going to want the delivery of water at the same time, Foote said.

The board also agreed that it would auction off 49.01 acres of water rights, in about 5.5 acre lots, at 1:30 p.m. on the same day as its May 8 meeting. Bidders would have to qualify by showing that they have land the water rights could be transferred to. Individual lots at the last auction of water rights by the district brought about $420.

In other business the board:
• Agreed it would arrange for the proper legal transfer of four U.S. Army surplus bridge trucks to the Quay County Fire Marshal’s office. Fire Marshal Donald Adams had solicited the vehicles for use by rural fire departments in fighting grass fires and possible adaptation to tanker trucks to fight fires.
Adams also requested maps and information regarding the layout of the canals for emergency and firefighting personnel.

• Approved a $50,000 capital outlay state grant request that covers the purchase of four-wheelers, new office and computer equipment and water measuring instruments.

• Received information regarding in-ground water and salinity monitors from Roger Patrick of Competitive Consulting Ltd., Santa Fe. The monitors have been successfully used on golf courses and could possibly be used on farm lands, Patrick said.

• Agreed it would solicit the cost estimate to research certain aspects of the district’s contracts with an attorney from Santa Fe and Albert J. Mitchell of Tucumcari.