City Acquires Permanent Water Storage

Deal Provides Water Security, Allows for City's Future Growth
By: City of Las Vegas, NM
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* Water
* Southwest

* Government

* Las Vegas - New Mexico - US

LAS VEGAS, N.M. - Jan. 2, 2018 - PRLog -- The City has finalized its water storage agreement with the Storrie Project Water Users Association. The amended agreement was approved by the City's governing body on New Year's Eve.

The amended agreement gives the City 800 acre-feet of perpetual storage in Storrie Lake, at a price of $4 million.

The original agreement with the SPWUA was for purchase of 2300 acre-feet at a price of $12 million.

"We had the contract reviewed by Paul Cassidy, our financial consultant, and Glorieta Geoscience, our hydrologist consultants, to determine if the original contract met the City's needs,"  said Las Vegas Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron."Our financial consultant determined that $12 million would exhaust the city's bonding capacity, and leave  us unable to put up the matching funds for other needed repairs and improvements to our water system. That would not only prevent going forward with critical projects, it would potentially mean a $50 million loss in funding because the City couldn't provide the necessary matching funds."

Glorieta Geoscience, after extensive research, determined that 800 acre-feet was the most the City was likely use, and that storage in excess of 800 acre-feet was subject to significant diminishing returns. Although the City leased 500 acre-feet of storage from Storrie from 1989 to 2013, the largest annual transfer during that time was 415 acre-feet. Additionally, due to conservation measures and infrastructure improvements, Las Vegas' water consumption has decreased from 2168 acre-feet in 2010 to 1429 acre-feet in 2017. Glorieta Geoscience found that 800 acre-feet of storage both meet the City's present needs and accommodate moderate future growth.

"We've been making do for years with the only usable raw water storage being 200 acre-feet in Peterson Reservoir," said City Utilities Director Maria Gilvarry,  " With the renovation of the Bradner Reservoir, and the acquisition of permanent storage in Storrie Lake, The City will increase our usable storage capacity more than six-fold. This greatly improves our community's water availability, and also gives the City more flexibility in terms of coordinating with acequias."

Lee Einer, PIO
City of Las Vegas
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Tags:Water, Southwest
Location:Las Vegas - New Mexico - United States
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