Committee addresses water conservation

CNJ staff photo: Tony Bullocks Water Policy Advisory Committee member Marcus Brice says fugitive water — water that runs off into the street during lawn watering — is a “humongous problem all over Clovis.”

By Gabe Monte: CNJ staff writer

The water policy advisory committee will form a subcommittee tasked with developing an ordinance addressing water conservation.

Mayor Pro-Tem and Committee Chairman Randy Crowder said during Tuesday’s Water Policy Advisory Committee meeting that the ordinance should deal with water runoff and city residents irrigating their properties in the heat.

Crowder said the city will need to adopt a water conservation ordinance to gain the support of the Bureau of Reclamation for the Ute Water Project.

The project proposes to build a pipeline carrying water from the Ute Lake reservoir to eight entities in eastern New Mexico.

The city has a water management ordinance, but it only applies during drought conditions.

City Manager Joe Thomas said the committee would like to move away from condition-driven ordinances to address chronic abusers.

Commissioner and Committee Member Chris Bryant said 40 percent of water used to water lawns is lost while watering during high heat.

Committee member Marcus Brice said fugitive water — water that runs off into the street during lawn watering — is a “humungous problem all over Clovis.”

Bryant said another goal of the subcommittee will be educating the public about water conservation.

“Our biggest thing is we’ve never educated the public,” he said. “Our water table is dropping. The city (government) can’t be the only one concerned with this.”

In other business:

• City Manager Joe Thomas said the city is negotiating with engineering firm Camp, Dresser & McGee on how much it would cost for the first phase of the effluent reuse project. The project proposes to build a pipeline from the wastewater treatment plant to the New Pond storm water retention lake. The water would be used for irrigation and dust control.