Serving the High Plains

State commits $30M to pipeline

CLOVIS – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced state funding for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project, a pipeline that will deliver water from the Ute Reservoir in Quay County to the more than 70,000 residents of Clovis, Elida, Portales and Texico.

The $30 million in state money, paired with local and federal funding, aims to provide a long-term water source for the community.

“Without this pipeline, the aquifer the community relies on will be depleted within 10 to 15 years,” Lujan Grisham stated. “This collaborative effort serves as a shining example of what sustainable water management looks like and ensures a reliable source of water for Clovis for generations to come.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2029.

“On behalf of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority and the citizens of our member communities, I am grateful for this funding. This will take us far in the construction of this critically important project,” Clovis Mayor Michael Morris said.

“As our climate becomes hotter and drier, this investment in water infrastructure in eastern New Mexico is absolutely critical,” U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján stated. “I am proud to have helped secure the $163 million in federal funds that, paired with this major $30 million investment from the state, will ensure reliable access to water in the region for generations. I look forward to continued collaboration with the governor and all our state and local partners to ensure all New Mexican communities have the resources they need to thrive.”

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez also hailed the funding for the pipeline.

Many communities rely on groundwater as a primary water source, but increasingly arid conditions are rapidly depleting aquifers. Using surface water, which can be recharged more quickly, will ensure the aquifers are preserved.

The project in Clovis is being deemed as even more critical, as parts of the Ogallala Aquifer are contaminated by PFAS caused by U.S. Department of Defense operations at Cannon Air Force Base.

In May, Quay County commissioners approved former longtime Logan village administrator Larry Wallin as an official representative to monitor future construction of the Ute pipeline project and hear residents’ concerns about it.

Wallin’s role is to reach out to concerned property owners in Quay County after Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority representatives had been seen in the region surveying property where the pipeline likely would run.