Exploratory well comes up dry

CNJ staff

An exploratory well completed last month by New Mexico American Water came up dry.

The company said in a press release Thursday that what little water was found was not suitable for use.

Since June 2010, New Mexico American Water has been drilling south of Clovis to the Lower Dockum Formation to determine if water in the formation was a useable supplemental source for the city.

New Mexico American Water said results after reaching a depth of 1,700 feet reveal a water source of insufficient quality and quantity to provide a supplemental source to the Ogallala Aquifer.

Drilling ceased in December.

In the past 10 years, New Mexico American Water has gone from 28 wells to 61 wells and is producing 20% less water from the Ogallala Aquifer.

“This is a disappointing result but one we acknowledged from the outset as a real possibility,” said New Mexico American Water General Manger Daniel Bailet. “We can’t be certain where we will find usable water until we look, and given the rapid decline of the Ogallala we had to look.”

Bailet said engineers found not only an insufficient volume of water in the formation, but the water was also had high chloride, metals and mineral content.

“We know that our present supply source will ultimately be insufficient,” said Bailet. “The disappointing results from this test well highlight the need for our community to support federal funding for the Ute Reservoir project and to do more to conserve.”