Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Hereford water rights purchase going to voters

Staff writer

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While Clovis officials consider purchasing 930 acres of water rights for about $2 million, neighbors an hour to the northeast are weighing the purchase of 11,000 acres of water for nearly $36 million.

Hereford, Texas, City Manager Rick Hanna said Monday the city is trying to purchase water rights about 8 miles northeast of town.

He said the city would pay $3,272 per acre for the water rights, which includes 144 wells from the Ogallala Aquifer and nine wells from the Dockum Aquifer.

Hanna said the property contains $15 million to $20 million in well and pipe infrastructure that can be updated and further used over time.

“I have friends in Stillwater (Oklahoma) and Midland (Texas) who are in a tough spot with water over where they’re at and they don’t have options like this to help them out,” Hanna said.

He said Hereford has 40 to 45 years of water left and the land northeast of the city would increase that by 80 to 110 years.

Hanna said the decision to purchase the land will be left up to voters in the November general election and will increase Hereford residents’ water bills by $42 per month.

“You pay more than that for your cell phone and TV cable,” Hanna said. “The days of cheap, abundant water are gone. The price of that water (the city will purchase) in 30 years will be four fold what it is now.”

Hanna said he believes the ordinance will pass in November.

Clovis is not considering a tax increase for its proposed water purchase. Economic Development Tax Advisory Board members have recommended EDTAB funds pay for the purchase of water rights adjacent to Cannon Air Force Base.

Officials have proposed selling the water to Cannon as needed, with any profits from the sale going back into EDTAB funds.

Clovis city commissioners will consider buying water rights from a Curry County landowner west of Cannon at a commission meeting at 5:15 p.m. Thursday at the North Annex of Clovis-Carver Library. An executive session will be held prior to the meeting at 4:30 p.m.

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