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

ENMWUA representatives to present hopes for project


June 19, 2019

PORTALES — For state officials with the money, and for any in the public with the interest, representatives of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority will present this afternoon on their hopes with the Ute Water Project and the Interim Ground Water Project (IGWP) to supply water to member communities in coming years.

“We’re going to talk about past, present and future, so it’s a really good opportunity for the authority to tell its story,” ENMWUA Chairman and Clovis Mayor David Lansford told The News. “It isn’t often that we have our opportunity to tell the story to key decision makers. (ENMWUA Administrator) has a 22-slide presentation that just knocks it out of the park, so if you ever wanted to know about the Ute Water Project you can learn about it in its entirety and its brevity.”

Lansford spoke of the presentation scheduled for 4 p.m. today before the New Mexico Legislative Finance Authority, part of a multi-day session in the Golden Student Success Center at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

The authority “has been working toward the goal of fully constructing the (IGWP) within the next three to five years,” said a news release Monday from ENMWUA. “The message will be the significance of completing the IGWP as soon as possible.”

IGWP consists of a transmission pipeline that will connect over 90% of the authority’s member communities — Clovis, Grady, Elida, Melrose, Portales, Texico, Curry and Roosevelt counties — while longer-ranging work continues on building pipe toward a more sustainable water supply at the Ute Reservoir in Quay County.

Work is already in progress and scheduled for completion by year’s end on Finished Water II, a 7 1/2 mile segment connecting Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis’ water system, and additional funds to the tune of $90 million would accelerate the implementation of Finished Water I (between north of CAFB and a “future water treatment plant near Grady”) and Finished Water III (from northwest of CAFB to Portales).

“I think we could probably spend $90 million in the next five years pretty easily,” Lansford said. “I’m certainly not going to ask the state for $90 million, I think that’s a large ask no matter where it’s coming from, but we’re 100 percent designed on FWIII and 60 percent designed on FWI.”

Lansford said he was “excited” about today’s presentation and the remainder of the year ahead. He said “we’ve got a lot of decisions to make and it’s going to be a season of water conversations for the next six months or so,” including conversations at the ENMWUA board’s regular meeting Thursday afternoon in Clovis.

Among agenda items for Thursday’s meeting, 1 p.m. at the Sitterly Professional Center, is an update from King Industries as to remediation recommendations for the contamination plume originating from CAFB and threatening private water wells in Clovis.

King Industries’ Tom Blaine will present an “outline of suggestions that need to be considered” in mitigating potential water contamination and cleaning up wells already compromised, including locating “potential pumping sites” to remove and treat contaminated water, Lansford added.


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