[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [CDT-L] aquifer

David Patterson wrote:

> I heard recently that the reserves in the aquifers in New Mexico will be
> totally depleted in 15-20 years if current irrigation practices continue.
> The same article said the same for western Kansas, Eastern Colorado, and
> Oklahoma. Is anyone in New Mexico or anywhere else familiar with this? Does
> this mean no more water sources on the CDT from Windmills and other wells in
> NM in 20 years?
> David Patterson

David, the water has been being pulled out of the aquifer faster than it could
replinish(spell that wasted)for many years. Without going into a very long write up on
it, I will say that the water down here on the "tail in" of the aquifer is indeed in very

sad shape ALREADY.

There are already some spots (there are some spots that are more shallow under there)that

have dried up, and many are drying each year. I know one rancher that owns many sections
of land, that told me that that he just can't pump enough water, no matter how many wells

he had, to run the cattle that the land could support.

I was told 18 years ago that the water I was in could never be pumped out fast enough to
run out. :0) I have had to go down three times already, and we will need to completely
redrill next spring, IF we make it through the winter(I'm talking about domestic water
here). We have not been able to turn an outside facet on full, for over a couple of mins
or it would flat run out of water for the pump!

Several of the small towns and larger(Clovis for one)on the east side of NM are working
hard to come up with a plan to build a large pipe line and pump water from Ute lake(like
that water is endless), while the whole while, the dairy industry has been welcomed with
open arms to this whole area. Water use is at an all time use(the waste word again). The
GOV subsidises the dairys and the dairys buy from the local farmers. Years ago, the
farmers would do less winter irragation and the water tables would atleast replenish
*some*. Not any more. There is a ready demand for corn due to the dairys here, and the
sprinklers run day and night, all year long. The water table is dropping some 5-7+ feet a

year here. Some reports say more. I know I dropped my well(house hold, domestic use)10' 1

year ago and as I said, will be "lucky" to get it to pump all winter. Usually we could
guess the water would come back up during the winter...not the case now.

So there you have a longer answer than you wanted, but really is the short answer.

Yes, the water is being used up at a very fast rate, and no-one wants to face the
thinking or issue of cutting back(or out right outlawing of growing such high water
crops, such as corn in this water poor area). Every one just says that if you don't use
it now..., someone will, and it will be gone someday anyway.

As I write this, I know atleast one person that has bought land, several miles from his
"home", just because it still had water, and he can now pump it there and haul it to the
other land to water his cattle and for his own drinking needs.

...at the same time, I watched for over 2 months a large circular sprinkler go round and
round. This sprinkler is fed by two seperate wells, both running 24 hours a day) Half of
the land it was watering during that time was growing corn. The other half of the circle
was nothing but dirt and weeds.

Water shortage coming? Ask the two men above and you will likely get differant answers.


Message from the Continental Divide Trail Mailing List

To:            <cdt-l@backcountry.net>