The Ruidoso Village Council in an emergency meeting Thursday declared a water emergency and implemented Phase 5 Water Use Restrictions, according to a village news release.
The council also moved ahead with pumping village wells at the north fork of Eagle Creek on U.S. Forest Service land, the Ruidoso News reported.
Under Phase 5 restrictions, use of sprinkler systems and garden hoses is prohibited, except for vegetable gardens and fruit trees, but watering with handheld buckets or sprinkler cans filled from interior faucets or hose bibs may be used every day of the week, the News said.
Also recommended under the restrictions, according to the village release, is for restaurants and bars to provide water to patrons only on request.
Village Utilities Director Randy Camp said no water could be diverted to Grindstone Reservoir because of the drought and the ash-filled runoff into the Rio Ruidoso following the Little Bear Fire, the paper reported.
“The emergency really was for the 30 percent of the village served by Grindstone,” Camp said. “But we need everyone in the village to conserve.”
Only well water will be available to supply the entire village, Camp said.