Lopez wins Arch Hurley election

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

Pablo Lopez won the Precinct 1 post in the Arch Hurley Conservancy District election on Tuesday.

Lopez defeated incumbent David Foote 3,006 to 2,338 votes, according to the count announced at the conservancy’s board meeting on Wednesday.

“Pablo has been on the board before, has been a longtime rancher, and will bring a lot of knowledge to the board with him,” Arch Hurley Conservancy board president Larry Perkins said. “I am looking forward to working with Pablo on the board.”

Lopez will take the oath of office and be sworn in at the Nov. 14 meeting.

“I am real happy with the results. It shows that people are interested in what happens in Tucumcari,” said Lopez. “I hope I can do what is right and needed.”

Unopposed in the election were Larry Bruhn of Precinct 3 and John Gilbertson in Precinct 2.

In other matters that came up before the board:
l A proposed contract to purchase water by the Big Mesa Coop of Conchas was denied. Fred Stieg of the Big Mesa Water Coop was there to represent the cooperative.

“The board cannot and will not transfer water rights outside of the district,” Perkins said.

l Approval was given to the conservancy’s attorney to serve a writ to the Office of the State Engineer. The writ will request that the company planning to drill between 16 and 24 wells in Largo Canyon in San Miguel County re-advertise in the surrounding areas.
The wells could potentially affect the water tables and the ability of Arch Hurley to deliver water to its members, Perkins said.
The planned wells could possibly affect the Canadian River that feeds into Conchas Lake, Perkins said.

Over the past several months, the board has discussed how it might take action like this to protect the conservancy’s water for its members.

l The board agreed the 2007 irrigation shutoff would occur when water orders for the seven districts drop below 40 acre feet.
“When the water orders drop below 40 acre feet for a few days, we will be obligated to close the gates at Conchas stopping the flow of water in the irrigation canal,” Arch Hurley district manager Bill Conrad said. “We encourage the irrigators to use their allocations as soon as possible.”

Once the orders drop below 40 acre feet it is impossible to maintain efficiency, Conrad said.