Pipe dream no longer

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By Dave Gragg All the experts agree: Eastern New Mexico is running out of water. But there is a solution: It’s more than 87 miles long and will cost more than $200 million to build. If the Ute pipeline ever becomes reality, the region’s water crisis could be a century away, rather than just decades. […]

What if water use is restricted?

By Claire Bushey In the Sandia Mountains community of Madrid near Albuquerque, lack of water translates to lack of toilets. The New Mexico town with its population of 149 attracts a number of tourists due to its shops and galleries. But because of extreme water conservation measures, it only has four businesses with toilets available […]

Small towns at risk

By Gary Mitchell Could water shortages produce ghost towns throughout eastern New Mexico any time soon? It’s possible. “We do have the prospect of ghost towns in the future with the Ogallala Aquifer drying up,” said Lee Tillman, executive director of Eastern Plains Council of Governments. “Elida, for example, is at risk because they don’t […]

Water quality: Right as rain

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By Gary Mitchell One good thing about having to drill so deeply for water in this region is that it helps ensure its purity, water experts say. The primary water source for this area is the Ogallala Aquifer, which is accessed by drilling 300 to 400 feet, depending on location. “Because of that, you don’t […]

Top names in water

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By Haley Rice Editor’s note: The following are profiles of movers and shakers in the world of water — from the man who dug the first wells on the Llano Estacado to the high-profile voices in the ongoing debate about the future of our water supply. Although each presents a different solution to the problems […]

State oversees water issues

By Claire Bushey In New Mexico, water is such a precious resource it naturally follows that many people and organizations devote their efforts to researching and managing it. The two major state organizations that control water-related matters are the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission. Separate government agencies, they […]

Too much flouride can stain teeth

By Gary Mitchell Most experts agree Clovis’ main water supply is low in chemicals that could cause major health problems. But it is not problem free. “The water in the Clovis area is a little high in naturally occurring fluoride. And it can do some cosmetic discoloration on teeth,” said Robin Casale, regional water quality […]

Cloud seeding director undaunted by critics

By Haley Rice Duncan Axisa believes he can make it rain. Axisa said this power is available to him through cloud seeding, the process of dropping silver iodide crystals into the supercooled upper parts of clouds. The crystals act as a gathering point, attracting and freezing the microscopically small droplets of water that make up […]

Agriculture chief water user in area

By Tony Farkas Agriculture is the foundation for eastern New Mexico’s economy. The cotton gins that didn’t stop production even on Thanksgiving Day, the farm implements seen along the roads and highways every spring and fall, and the aroma from the local feedlots and dairies offer plenty of physical evidence to support the statement. Statistics […]

Dryland farming may not be a viable solution

By Tony Farkas Since the High Plains’ economy is based on agriculture, and since water for crops and livestock may soon be in short supply, one solution seems obvious: Farmers should stop irrigating and raise dryland crops. But that won’t work, most agricultural experts agree. “I don’t see that happening, not in my lifetime,” said […]