Ag well application closure receives mixed reactions from local farmers

By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer Local members of the agriculture industry have mixed reactions to the recent closure of the High Plains aquifer to new appropriations of water. Last week, the Office of the State Engineer announced that it would no longer allow permits for agricultural, commercial, municipal or industrial wells that would pump […]

Conservationist discusses playa lakes

By Argen Duncan: PNT Staff Writer Playa lakes, while a difficulty in farming, help recharge the aquifer under Roosevelt County and provide important habitat for wildlife, according to a professional conservationist. Joe Whitehead, an area resource conservationist with the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service in Clovis, spoke about playa lakes, depressions that catch water when […]

Official: Playa lakes’ importance not understood

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By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer Many people do not understand the importance of the playa lakes, according to Tish McDaniel, Southern Shortgrass Prairie coordinator with The Nature Conservancy. An integral part of the High Plains, playa lakes are the main source for recharging the Ogallala Aquifer, she said. McDaniel has been working with landowners, […]

Conservationists believe Ogallala Aquifer recharged through playa lakes

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By Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers Birds dart toward the edge of the great saucer-shaped depression and disappear in a patch of yellowed grass. John Wood stands in the middle of his concave field, and observes the flurry, amused. Some seasons, his field fills with water. This summer, a drought has caked the root-beer dirt, driven […]

Water outlook bleak for Portales

By Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer Charlie Wilson, a geohydrologist hired by the city of Portales, said the High Plains (Ogallala)aquifer is being depleted at a rate of two to six feet per year as part of his annual water conservation and use report. “The use exceeds the supply,” Wilson said. “It’s not being recharged […]

Experts: Underground aquifer water supply draining fast

By William P. Thompson Irrigated farming, as area residents know it, could become a thing of the past in eastern New Mexico. A water expert, hydrogeologist Amy Ewing, gave statistics Monday night that project water saturation thickness in the underground aquifer beneath Curry and Roosevelt counties will be at an all-time low of less than […]

Entities discuss Ute Water Project at public meeting

Marlena Hartz: Freedom Newspapers County officials, farmers and residents identified their top alternative water plans Wednesday evening during a public meeting organized by an Albuquerque based engineering and water resource consulting firm, Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc. Though only eight of the original 11 entities remain committed, the Ute Pipeline — a $300 million […]

Officials answer questions about water use in area

Jack King Ogallala Aquifer water under Curry County is being used up at a rate almost five times faster than it can be recharged, the director of the State Engineer’s water rights division said here Wednesday. Paul Saavedra, who addressed a meeting of Clovis’ water policy advisory board at city hall, said an estimated 210,000 […]

Workshop searches for solution

Kevin Wilson People from different walks of life are meeting in Portales for one common goal — to slow the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer. The workshop, “Land Uses and their Effects on the Ogallala Aquifer,” is in its second day at the Memorial Building. Today’s meetings start at 8:15 a.m. and continue until noon. […]

Workshop examines Ogallala decline

MIke Linn Portales is hosting a workshop this week on examining ways to slow the rapidly declining water supply in the Ogallala Aquifer. In areas north of Portales, water from the Ogallala declines four times as fast as it is replenished, conservation officials explain, and even with modern farming irrigation systems the extended future of […]