Year in review

Progress met with protest

Hundreds attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System in August at Ute Lake.

The first phase is an intake structure, or pumping station, that would move the water from the reservoir to authority members that have reserved it — Clovis, Portales, Texico, Melrose, Grady, Elida and Curry and Roosevelt counties. Planned delivery is 16,450 acre feet annually, or approximately 5.4 billion gallons.

It is viewed as a long-term solution for eastern New Mexico’s water supply with a projected cost of $432 million.

During the ground breaking, three dozen public officials, supporters and media members were far outnumbered by Logan and Quay County residents, who lined the road leading up to the reservoir and surrounded the small ceremony with jeers and chants to protest concerns the authority will drain the lake, which is tied into local economies.

Chanters suggested not too subtly that the visitors, “Go home,” but also requested they, “Save our lake,” and respect “3,765,” in reference to the community’s desired elevation in feet for the reservoir.