Mayor Signs Water Storage Contract

By: City of Las Vegas, NM
Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron, at right, signs contract
Mayor Tonita Gurule-Giron, at right, signs contract
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Las Vegas - New Mexico - US

LAS VEGAS, N.M. - March 2, 2018 - PRLog -- Mayor Tonita Gurulé-Girón signs contract on February 28 for the purchase of 800 acre-feet of water storage from the Storrie Project Water Users Association (SPWUA.)

For years, the city has made due with the roughly 200 acre-feet of storage in Peterson Reservoir. This purchase, with a $4 million price tag, raises the city's usable water storage to 1,000 acre-feet, The rehabilitation of Bradner Reservoir will soon add an additional 300 acre-feet of usable water storage.

The signing is the culmination of extended negotiation. The original agreement, entered into by the previous administration two years ago, would have committed the city to purchasing 2,300 acre-feet of storage 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 Gurulé-Girón."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 sufficient to meet the community's current water needs and accommodate moderate future growth, and that  storage in excess of 800 acre-feet was subject to significant diminishing returns.

That conclusion was reached in light of successful efforts by the city to reduce water usage. Las Vegas has become much more water-frugal over recent years. Thanks to conservation measures and infrastructure improvements, city water consumption has decreased by roughly a third,  from 2168 acre-feet in 2010 to 1429 acre-feet in 2017.

Last year, the city purchased 1,200 acre-feet of water from the SPWUA. The purchase was timely, as the USDA recently declared San Miguel County to be in severe drought due to meager winter snowfall.  The water may also be used to refill Bradner Reservoir once the renovation is completed.

Lee Einer, Public Information Officer
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Tags:Water, Las Vegas, New Mexico
Location:Las Vegas - New Mexico - United States
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