Tucumcari City Commissioners approved a contract of up to $12,375 for an engineering firm to collect information to challenge an application for a well filed by Lopez Farms.
The Lopez Farm application has been filed with the New Mexico State Engineer’s office.
The city has challenged the Lopez Farms application to dig a well on land north of the Tucumcari Cemetery because the proposed well could deplete water from city wells nearby, said City Manager Doug Powers.
CDM Smith, an Albuquerque engineering firm, was hired to conduct the study to “assess and document the potential impairments to the city’s wells and water rights,” according to the firm’s proposal letter.
At the July 11 City Commission meeting, Albert Lopez, owner of Lopez Farms, asked commissioners if there was a misunderstanding, since he seeks only to use new water to irrigate about 67 acres of farmland. He already has permits for wells that can handle about 200 of the 264 acres he intends to irrigate, he said, and needs only a small amount of additional water for the remaining acreage.