LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Las Vegas’s water supply has been improving following months of a water crisis. The city began facing the crisis in August when officials announced that there were 40 days of clean drinking water left.
After the largest fire in the state’s history, intense monsoon rains caused debris and ash to run into the Gallinas river. The city was set to run out of clean drinking water but now a pre-treatment system is providing some relief. “We have a temporary pretreatment system installed at the base of Storrie Dam. Where we are removing the ash and sediment from the water, pumping the water back up to Peterson and Bradner and treating it again in the drinking water plant,” said Jay Lazarus, Hydrogeologist, Glorieta GL Science.
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Drinking water is finally being produced, filtering out the debris from the Gallinas River and Storrie Lake. “As the monsoons have waned recently, the water in the river has cleaned up to pre-fire levels,” said Lazarus.
Currently, the temporary water filtration system produces 1.4 million gallons of clean water a day but again it’s only a temporary fix. The city is in the works of bringing in a more permanent structure further upstream that will produce more water. That system could help provide clean water for everyone in Las Vegas and its surrounding neighbors. “I’m thinking that Las Vegas will become the water technology center of New Mexico once everything is done,” said Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo.
The city has applied for more than $100 million dollars in state and federal funding for the permanent water shed treatment facility.