Water company’s request denied

New Mexico American Water Co. wants Clovis to drop its protest against the utility’s request to expand its water rights.

But Clovis commissioners, concerned with a lack of oversight, said no.

Commissioners voted unanimously during Thursday’s meeting to uphold the city’s protest filed with the state engineer’s office. The city is fighting New Mexico American Water, which wants to combine its water rights, removing restrictions on the amount of water it takes from individual wells.

Clovis commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem Randy Crowder said the protest could lead to guidelines and oversight measures if the state engineer approves the request.

“I think it would be prudent for the city … to be a part of creating guidelines to manage the draw down of different wells,” he said. “I believe the city needs to stay in this process until all that develops.”

The water company filed a request in July to combine its water rights in Curry and Roosevelt counties. Company Vice President Kathy Wright said the request strips pumping restrictions from their wells in order to pump water efficiently.