Two new injunctions have been filed in the 10th Judicial District Court calling for a halt to current and future construction of an intake structure at Ute Lake that is part of the Ute Water pipeline.
Both injunctions were filed May 5 and named the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority as the defendant. The water utility wants to pipe water from the man-made reservoir in Logan to communities in Curry and Roosevelt counties.
The first injunction was filed by the South Shore Village, Unit 1, Landowner's Association. It charges the authority violated the protective covenants of the unit's lots.
According to the first injunction:
• Under terms of the covenants, filed on April 24, 1996, the unit lots could only be used for single-family residents and connected guest homes. The restriction did not apply to Lot 11.
• The water authority purchased Lot 12 in March, and announced its intent to use the lot as part of its intake structure.
The second injunction, filed by the village of Logan, states the authority violated the village's zoning ordinance.
According to the second injunction:
• All property incorporated into Logan through annexation is zoned as a single-family residential zone.
• The authority did not seek a special-use permit, saying the zoning ordinance does not apply.
The water authority hired the Montgomery and Andrews law firm of Santa Fe on April 23. Jeffery J. Weshsler, an attorney with Montgomery and Andrews, referred comments Monday to the authority.
Attempts to contact water authority chairwoman Gayla Brumfield were unsuccessful.
The Village of Logan filed suit April 17 against the authority and Bureau of Reclamation, citing the entities for violating federal policy in the planning of the Ute Lake Diversion Project.
Thomas Hnasko, lead council for Logan, said in an earlier interview the environmental assessment performed by the bureau showed the effects on Ute Lake if the project's intake structure, or pumping station, pumped the 16,400 acre feet per year reserved by authority entities. However, he said, the structure will be capable of pumping 24,000 acre feet per year.
An acre foot is the amount of water that would fill a one-acre parcel of land with one foot of water, and is roughly equivalent to 325,853 gallons.
Hnasko said the second problem is that the environmental assessment was based off of 1994 precipitation and water runoff totals into Ute Lake.
"We all know those numbers are wrong, and we're nowhere near those precipitation levels today," Hnasko said. "Based on the bad data, they would breach the minimum pool level many times over 45 years."
Hnasko could not be reached for additional comment.