Ute Lake conservation continues

The lake conservation plan is still underway and officials involved in the project say that plan will keep the lake from drying up, all while providing drinking water and sustaining wildlife.

Ute Lake was built more than 50 years ago to provide Eastern New Mexico cities and city agencies with adequate drinking water. According to a member of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, a sustainable yield was calculated years ago, and that yield will continue to be effective unless the state sees a drought that lasts for years.

"In the sustainable yield of the 24,000 acre-feet, that includes a minimal pool in that reservoir which would be sufficient for fish, wildlife and recreational uses," Canadian Basin Manager Jonathan Martinez said.

Some Logan residents have protested the latest pumping plan, saying they feel Clovis is draining their natural resources. According to Clovis Mayor Gayla Brumfield, he goal is to come to a compromise with the people of Logan and Clay counties.

"We will start seeing some money flow from the federal government," she said. "We've had $25 million from the state and we will start seeing the federal dollars coming in because of the authorization we've fought so hard in the last couple of years to get."

With the drought of 2011 continuing to cause damage, everyone involved in the Ute Lake plan is keeping that in mind.

"One of the other things that the agencies and the entities that are involved are working on," Martinez said, "is an operation agreement to minimize the effects of the reservoir, especially during times of drought."