New Mexico American files for rate increase

Carrie Phipps of Clovis waters a friend’s plants on Tuesday.

CNJ staff

The average water bill in Clovis could go up about $5 a month as soon as April of next year if the a rate adjustment request from the city’s water provider is approved.

New Mexico American Water filed Monday a request to the New Mexico Public Regulations Commission to increase water rates in Clovis by 16 percent. The commission will decide whether to approve the request after a public hearing. A public hearing for the request has not be set, according to New Mexico American Water General Manager Kathy Wright.

The commission approved the water company’s rate adjustment request in 2006, which increased water rates by 13 percent in 2007.

Wright said the average household in Clovis uses about 6700 gallons of water a month. The rate adjustment would increase the cost of that water use to $36 from $31.

The company will convert for municipal use six agricultural irrigation wells the company purchased, according to Wright.

She said decreased production of the company’s existing wells necessitates adding more wells.

“Because of the declining in the aquifer – being an average of about three feet per year – we’re seeing a decrease in our well production, so we’re doing new well each year,” she said.