U.S. Water News Online
FARMINGTON, N.M. -- Last year, city officials here enacted
an ordinance that encouraged residents to voluntarily conserve water.
This year, thanks to an abundant winter snow pack and rains, the
message has changed.
Now, when it comes to water, it's use it or lose it.
"I don't want to see people wasting water, but it is productive to
have lawns and to have a nice-looking community," said City Councilor
The City Council unanimously repealed a measure that previously
encouraged Farmington residents to limit their water use. The repeal
was possible because of high water levels in the Animas River, which
feeds into Farmington Lake.
"With the snowpack we have in the mountains this year and the
predicted rates of flow in the river throughout the summer months, we
think we'll be able to keep Farmington Lake full," said City
Councilor Tommy Roberts. "We want to let people know that there's
plenty of water to be used."
City manager Bob Hudson said Lake Farmington was at 94 percent of
its capacity in April, compared to 84 percent in the same month last
year. He said the lake is expected to be at 100 percent of its
capacity by early June.
Mayor Bill Standley said the abundance of the river and the lake's
water levels could cause flooding. The city bought 10,000 sand bags
"Just in case we have a rapid melt and we have more water than
what the river banks can accommodate," Standley said. "We're watching
that very closely."
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