Low lake levels, silt buildup prevent water allocation


May 14, 2013

The Arch Hurley Conservancy District board reduced member assessments Tuesday by a dollar.

However, due to the low level of Conchas Lake and silt build up in the district's intake channel, the district still cannot allocate water, said Chairman Larry Perkins.

After speaking with the federal Bureau of Reclamation, work to remove the nine feet of silt blocking the intake channel should begin on May 20, said district Manager Franklin McCasland.

Perkins said once the silt is cleared and with additional rain fall raising the level to or above 4,155 feet, the district can look into purchasing pumps and make water available to members. He said the district would have to look into grants to purchase the pumps, which could range from $70,000.

McCasland said Conchas Lake is currently at 4,154 feet, in the month of April it had an inflow of 531 acre feet while losing 1,495 acre feet due to evaporation and other issues. He said the inflow estimates for the months of May and June would be 13 percent of normal.

Perkins said the district is looking into cost effective pumps, which would be able to pump the water to the intake channel. He said they are making every effort to make water available to the district's members.

The board also approved a 2014 budget of $1.358 million, which is $72,000 less than the district's 2013 budget.

Other items before the board:

  • Approved McCasland to determine procedure and policy regarding coping fees for public information request (complete agenda packets).
  • Approved resolution 2013-002 Capital Outlay Funding added to 2014 budget.
  • Announced an audit will be concluded by the end of May and submitted to the Department of Finance Authority by June 1.
  • Disclosed a New Mexico Department of Agriculture pesticide compliance inspection passed. The department is requesting the district keep a more detailed log including wind speed and direction during application and GPS coordinates.
  • Board was updated on irrigation ditch, gate, washouts and housing repairs made in the district.


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