The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Conservation group updates council on countermeasures


February 10, 2019

PORTALES — Mike Cone, chairman of the Roosevelt Soil and Water Conservation District, provided an update on the organization’s efforts during Tuesday’s Portales City Council meeting.

Cone detailed the state entity’s shade balls project, small weighted plastic balls placed in livestock water tanks to counteract evaporation.

He said measurements show that over a three-year span, 40,000 gallons of water could be saved on a 20-foot livestock tank by utilizing shade balls. Besides saving water, Cone said the shade balls also limit algae and ice formation in the livestock tanks.

Cone said 85,000 shade balls have been distributed in New Mexico and west Texas over the past few years, with 4,000 additional shade balls available for purchase at a cost of 53 cents each through the organization’s cost-sharing program.

Cone also asked the council to support House Bill 460, which would fund a statewide weather modification — or cloud seeding — program at $1.2 million for a year.

Cone said cloud seeding can increase annual rainfall by 10 to 15 percent, with a return on investment of about $124 worth of water for every $1 spent.

Mayor Pro Tem Mike Miller was absent.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting (all votes 7-0):

• The council approved the purchase of a new van for the Portales Area Transit, contingent upon federal funding.

The cost of the van is $46,285 with a federal amount of $37,028 and a local match of $9,258.

• The council approved a permit for Faith Christian Family Church to operate a daycare at the property, 820 W. 18th Street.

Jason Swann, executive pastor at Faith Christian Family Church, said construction of the daycare will begin in June and hopefully be completed by April 2020.


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