New regulation may protect patients

By Mike Linn A new federal regulation allowing patients to choose who can receive medical updates on their condition is keeping medical records clerks and other health care employees in the safeguard mode. The privacy rules, in place as of April 14, prohibit disclosure, without patient permission, of any information regarding the patient. “Your mother […]

What if water use is restricted?

By Claire Bushey In the Sandia Mountains community of Madrid near Albuquerque, lack of water translates to lack of toilets. The New Mexico town with its population of 149 attracts a number of tourists due to its shops and galleries. But because of extreme water conservation measures, it only has four businesses with toilets available […]

Richardson swings through area

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By Jack King On a swing through Curry and Roosevelt counties Wednesday, Gov Bill Richardson expressed support for a Ute Lake surface water distribution system, but was peppered with questions about his education reform plan by educators in Roosevelt County. Richardson’s visits were part of a three-day, 11-city tour of eastern and southern New Mexico […]

Water quality: Right as rain

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By Gary Mitchell One good thing about having to drill so deeply for water in this region is it helps ensure its purity, water experts say. The primary water source for this area is the Ogallala Aquifer, which is accessed by drilling 300 to 400 feet, depending on location. “Because of that, you don’t have […]

Top names in water

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By Haley Rice Editor’s note: The following are profiles of movers and shakers in the world of water — from the man who dug the first wells on the Llano Estacado to the high-profile voices in the ongoing debate about the future of our water supply. Although each presents a different solution to the problems […]

State oversees water issues

By Claire Bushey In New Mexico, water is such a precious resource it naturally follows that many people and organizations devote their efforts to researching and managing it. The two major state organizations that control water-related matters are the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer and the Interstate Stream Commission. Separate government agencies, they […]

Dairies large, efficient water users

By Gary Mitchell Dairy operations in the region tend to use large amounts of water, but proponents say they use it efficiently — with little impact to the area’s ground-water source. “Sure they use a lot of water, but their water is never wasted,” said Stan Jones, Curry County extension agent. “The water is used […]

Cattle operations criticized over wastewater

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By Gary Mitchell Cows have long had homes in eastern New Mexico, in pastures and feedlots. So why are environmentalists concerned about dairy farms? Wastewater. “Feedlots tend not to be generating a large volume of wastewater,” said Maura Hanning, program manager for groundwater pollution prevention for the New Mexico Environment Department. “Dairies are the big […]

Aquifer history goes back millions of years

By Claire Bushey The word “aquifer” comes from two Latin words, which together mean “to bring water.” That is what the Ogallala Aquifer has done for the High Plains for nearly a century. Named after the town of Ogallala, Neb., the aquifer covers 174,000 square miles in parts of eight states, including New Mexico and […]

Area could be dry by 2040 — or maybe sooner

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By Claire Bushey The question of how much water is left in the eastern New Mexico area has bedeviled politicians and business owners, scientists and ordinary consumers for decades. The answer is still unknown. New Mexico-American Water Co. officials have said they are prepared to provide eastern New Mexico with water through 2040. But Clovis […]