Governor announces $30 million in state funding to provide long-term water supply to eastern New Mexico
CLOVIS – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday announced state funding for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply Project, a pipeline that will deliver water from the Ute Reservoir to the more than 70,000 residents of Clovis, Elida, Portales and Texico.
The $30 million state investment, paired with local and federal funding, will provide a long-term water source for the community.
“No one values our precious water resources more than New Mexicans – it’s part of who we are,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “Without this pipeline, the aquifer the community relies on will be depleted within 10 to 15 years. This collaborative effort serves as a shining example of what sustainable water management looks like and ensures a reliable source of water for Clovis for generations to come.”
The project is expected to be completed in 2029.
“On behalf of the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority and the citizens of our member communities, I am grateful for this funding. This will take us far in the construction of this critically important project,” said Clovis Mayor Michael Morris. “We appreciate everyone involved who has made funding available, including Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, state legislators, representatives of our member communities, the Biden Administration, and our New Mexico Congressional delegation.”
“I’m proud of the work we have done with the ENMWUA and multiple community leaders for over a decade to advance the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System pipeline to where we are today,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich. “Thanks to historic funding from the Infrastructure Law, we are cutting the construction timeline in half so that this incredible community effort can provide cities in eastern New Mexico and Cannon Air Force Base with a dependable, reliable water supply for generations to come,” said Heinrich.
“As our climate becomes hotter and drier, this investment in water infrastructure in eastern New Mexico is absolutely critical,” said Sen. Ben Ray Luján. “I am proud to have helped secure the $163 million in federal funds that, paired with this major $30 million investment from the state, will ensure reliable access to water in the region for generations. I look forward to continued collaboration with the Governor and all our state and local partners to ensure all New Mexican communities have the resources they need to thrive.”
“Last year, I led the effort in the House to fund rural water programs, ultimately helping to secure over $177 million for the Eastern NM Water Supply Project,” said Rep. Leger Fernández. “This funding is essential for our communities, businesses, and families to have access to clean water. I will continue to advocate for our beloved Eastern New Mexico communities, whether through funding water, health care, or economic development projects, addressing substance abuse, or making sure ranchers receive the compensation they deserve after toxic chemical exposure from Cannon.”
This effort will serve as a model for statewide water conservation efforts. Many communities currently rely on groundwater as a primary water source, but increasingly arid conditions are rapidly depleting aquifers. Utilizing surface water, which is recharged more quickly, will ensure that aquifers are preserved.
The project in Clovis is even more critical, as parts of the Ogallala Aquifer are now contaminated by PFAS caused by Department of Defense operations at Cannon Air Force Base.