Water allocation withheld

The Arch Hurley Conservancy District is continuing to maintain and repair canals in hopes of future water allocations.

There has not been a water allocation since 2009, which was only 2 inches out of a possible 42 inches, said manager Franklin McCasland.

McCasland said the last time water was allocated the elevation of Conchas Lake was at 4,168 acre feet. He said the current elevation of the lake was at 4,157.1 acre feet, one acre foot less than last year.

This has prompted New Mexico State Parks and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to close both boat ramps at Conchas Lake.

McCasland said July inflow to the lake was 492 acre feet, with 2,171 acre feet lost to evaporation. McCasland said there was no water to be allocated. The district's board of directors agreed and voted not to allocate any.

McCasland said work has been completed on the Bentonite application on the irrigation ditch by Hudson, with additional work to done on ditches in the district.

"We are looking at ways to clear the debris from the Conchas Channel Inlets, though it is proving to be a difficult task," said Steven Peterson, USACE.

Peterson said there are environmental guidelines which limits options of removing debris blocking or settled in the inlets.

McCasland said a backhoe was ineffective because of the incline at the north side boat ramp. There has been talk about bringing in a barge, and placing a backhoe on it to tackle debris from the other side, said Joe Martinez of the USACE. But he said a higher lake elevation would likely be required.

Due to recent vandalism and destruction of properties the board has asked McCasland to look in to the purchase of security cameras. McCasland said he would like to check a few vendors in Albuquerque, and would prefer to buy motion-activated models that follow movement, as opposed to stationary models.

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