Feb 04 2011
The Bureau of Reclamation has completed a three-year long environmental assessment on the impacts of providing funding for construction of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Project, and issued a finding of no significant impact on the environment.
The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System is intended to pipe water from Ute Reservoir in northeastern New Mexico to serve the domestic water needs of approximately 60,000 people in the communities of Clovis, Elida, Grady, Melrose, Portales and Texico; Curry and Roosevelt counties; and Cannon Air Force Base.
“Reclamation is proud to be involved in a project of this magnitude that will serve to benefit many people in eastern New Mexico,” said Albuquerque Area Office Manager Mike Hamman after signing the Finding of No Significant Impact on January 28. “This document was one of the last remaining steps before construction could begin on this project.”
Reclamation was authorized by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 to provide federal funds as appropriated by Congress to the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority for the construction of the pipeline, intake structure, storage, pumping, water treatment, and delivery facilities. Preliminary cost estimates for the project are approximately $436 million, of which the federal government portion is 75 percent; the state of New Mexico’s portion is 15 percent; and the ENMWUA’s portion is 10 percent.
The project area considered in the EA, prepared in cooperation with the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, includes portions of Quay, Curry and Roosevelt Counties. The project would deliver 16,450 acre-feet of water annually from Ute Reservoir to the participating communities to meet a portion of current and future water supply needs. The planning horizon considered in this EA is to 2060, which is within the normal range for water supply projects.