MAGDALENA, N.M. (KRQE) - Drought has left another small New Mexico community with a big problem.
The village of Magdalena on U.S. Highway 60 west of Socorro is nearly out of water, and now residents are under an "emergency disaster declaration."
The Magdalena Marshal's Office says the village has just about 13 feet of water left in its tanks. There's no backup, and many believe the village needs a new well.
Now officials are rushing to ship water in and find more underground.
A close look at the Magdalena Village Hall's front door shows something is wrong as a giant banner declaring an emergency declaration hangs on the glass urging the nearly 1,000 residents to only use water for drinking.
"It's a serious problem," said Bill Fuller, a Magdalena resident.
According to Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley the town's well has no water at the level of the well's pump. Village Public Works says the 13 feet of water in the tanks will run be depleted in a matter of days.
"This is the first time it's ever happened that the well has actually run dry, and it's the only well that we have," said Cearley.
Two older city wells were shuttered years ago because they weren't up to code. Cearley says the city has tried to get the funding for a backup well for the last four years but hasn't gotten it.
"The village here actually summoned everybody in the state to try to get a well done and was denied all funding from the state," said Cearley.
The city is now working to drop the pump deeper into the well to extend the amount of time water is available in Magdalena resident's wells. However, there's only about 12 feet of water to sink the pump into, and the well isn't replenishing because of the drought.
In the meantime, crews are also working on building a backup well. That will also take a long time, however, as crews need a permit to operate the well, and engineers will need to design a way to pump the water into the village's existing infrastructure.
"Hopefully we'll have something done within the next month and a half to two months," said Cearley.
Now a pending crisis is on the villagers hands. The Magdalena Fire Department is stockpiling water bottles to give out to residents at the fire station.
A 4,000 gallon tank is also coming from White Sands Missile Range.
"Folks will be able to come in and have water containers and come and get potable water," Socorro County Emergency Manager Jerry Wheeler told KRQE News 13.
While residents are thankful for the assistance, they're worried about the future.
"Four bottles for two people, two dogs and a cat. That isn't going to do it," said Bill Fuller, a Magdalena resident.
Fuller, a former village board member, says inaction from the state in not granting money to get a backup well is now endangering lives.
"My wife has serious health problems, probably going to have to send her out of town, and I may have to go with her," said Fuller.
Magdalena is now under a "boil alert" for all of the water coming into homes because the supply has run so low.
The large tank from White Sands Missile Range should arrive in Magdalena by Wednesday evening. The village is also shipping in 40 portable bathrooms to keep people from using the bathroom in their own homes.
A recent Christmas Eve tradition that's become increasingly popular in Santa Fe has been shot down.
Police said a homeowner and his 11-year-old son stopped two burglars dead in their tracks. They walked in on the alleged heist, but weren't about to let the suspected thieves get away with it, and they got creative with the way they …
What happened to one of four local officers shot in a dramatic October chase now has the attention of city, county, and even state lawmakers as they discuss proposing a policy that would ensure she will be the last first responder to get …
Albuquerque police have now identified the suspect shot by officers on Sunday, and he's a man whose past includes at least one fight with police and several other violent incidents.
A pair of Lobo football players were honored by the Mountain West on Tuesday.
A Sheriff's Deputy who was fired for forging a certificate of completion for a training course she did not complete caught a break from the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board.