CLOUDCROFT, N.M. (KRQE) - One New Mexico village bracing for a wave of holiday tourists has declared a state of emergency over its dwindling water supply.
The springs and wells feeding Cloudcroft's water supply are already running low because of the drought.
With an influx of tourists expected for the Fourth of July, village officials are afraid their water supply could be wiped out.
Workers at Western Bar in Cloudcroft scrubbed away today with more soap and less water.
"We're getting everything scrubby clean as always, but they're having to watch it a little bit closer and watch their consumption," said Western Bar Owner Alan Henry.
The village of Cloudcroft announced the water emergency Friday.
"We're putting measures into place so our water system doesn't fail," said the Executive Director Lisa King of the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce.
King told KRQE News 13 about 750 people live in the village, but within the next week they could see up to 2,000 tourists.
That, she said, is good for their economy but not so good for their water supply.
"It'd be better if it was in March or February. July, it's pretty scary because it's when we get the most of our tourism business," said Western Bar Owner Henry.
With the Fourth of July quickly approaching the village has started to haul in water from Alamogordo.
Water officials said in 50 minutes one truck can haul in about 5,600 gallons of water, which is almost double the amount of water Western Bar uses in a month.
"We worship water up here. We take care of it," Henry said.
Henry said on average his bar uses about 3,300 gallons of water a month, but with the restrictions he hopes to use less than 1,600 gallons.
To lessen the load he's had to make some changes. His staff will no longer serve water unless a customer specifically asks for it.
He said the water restrictions are putting stress on his business for now and for the future.
"If we're having water restrictions right now, what's it going to be like when my grandson's here?" Henry said.
Cloudcroft expects to haul in water from Alamogordo for the next couple weeks.
The village is looking into drilling a new water well to prevent this from happening again.
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