Federal Funds Help New Mexico Village Respond to Drought

Increasing water supply reliability in Tijeras



TIJERAS, N.M. (AP) — A mountain village in central New Mexico has been awarded nearly $750,000 in federal funds that will be used to help the community bolster its resiliency to drought.

The grant announced Thursday for Tijeras is part of an overall announcement by the Bureau of Reclamation that included 12 projects that will share $7.5 million to increase the reliability of water supplies as well as improve water management and the environment.

Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman said communities throughout the West need to take steps to prepare for drought.

The latest federal drought map shows more than 40% of New Mexico is dealing with some level of dryness, although conditions have improved somewhat in recent weeks and are vastly better than a year ago.

Officials say Tijeras will use its funding to drill a new well that will provide half of the village’s drinking water supply.

In 2011, a drought combined with wildfire and disruptions in production from one of the village’s two wells caused the aquifer level at the remaining well to drop by 75 feet (22.86 meters). The village identified this project as a top mitigation strategy.

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