Press release: State engineer says there’s no evidence of imminent water shortages in Clovis

(CLOVIS, New Mexico) — State Engineer John D’Antonio, accompanied by representatives of his office, attended a public meeting at the City of Clovis Chamber of Commerce on Friday, April 9, 2010,
to openly discuss the basis and the rationale behind the emergency authorization approval. The State Engineer also wanted to clearly state that approval of the emergency authorization was not evidence of imminent water shortages for the City of Clovis this summer.

New Mexico State Senator Clinton Harden requested a public meeting on behalf of his constituents to discuss the Office of the State Engineer’s decision to approve New Mexico American Water’s (NMAW) Request for Emergency Authorization.

The State Engineer explained that the approval of the emergency authorization was intended solely to allow for NMAW to reconfigure the manner in which it may divert water for the benefit of the residents of Clovis during peak water demand.

D’Antonio informed the audience that NMAW had requested an emergency authorization with its original Application to Combine in July of 2008 and again in March of 2010. NMAW, in both of its requests, stated that it anticipated a need to reconfigure its water rights to continue to be able to provide a reliable supply of water to the residents of Clovis. This reconfiguration of water rights in fifteen (15) of NMAW’s sixty-seven (67) wells would allow greater flexibility to satisfy peak demands. This reconfiguration neither increases NMAW’s diversionary rights nor does it increase NMAW’s water rights. Further, approval of the Emergency Authorization was based on the Office of the State Engineer, Hydrology Bureau’s preliminary finding that NMAW’s proposed pumping schedule would not impair any existing water rights.