U.S. District Judge William Johnson rejected the village’s request for an injunction on Jan. 14, clearing the way for construction to start on the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority’s project to divert water from Ute Lake to communities in Curry and Roosevelt counties, the Sun said.
“We are very disappointed with Judge Johnson’s ruling,” Logan Village Administrator Larry Wallin told the Sun.
Wallin said the water authority currently has just $20 million of the estimated $550 million needed to complete the project, 75 percent of which must come from the federal government, the Sun said.
In addition to exploring further legal options, the village will focus on lobbying Congress, Wallin told the paper.
Wallin said the village would be “very aggressive” in demonstrating to members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation and others how devastating the Ute Water Project would be to the local economy, the Sun said.
6:48am 1/16/13 — Court Clears Way for Ute Water Project
By ABQnews Staff
A federal judge in Albuquerque on Monday cleared the way for construction to start on the first phase of the Ute Water Project in eastern New Mexico, the Quay County Sun reported.
The court ruled that the Eastern New Mexico Water Utility Authority has complied with environmental laws and denied the village of Logan’s request for an injunction preventing construction, according to court records.
“This is really good news for the authority, and it is critical for our dire water situation,” said Gayla Brumfield, who chairs the authority.
Brumfield said the authority wants to continue to work with the city of Tucumcari and the village of Logan on a balanced approach toward the project, the Sun said.
The ruling allows construction on Phase 1 of the project — an intake structure at Ute Lake Reservoir — to begin immediately, Brumfield told the paper.
The project would pump water from the Ute Reservoir in Quay County to member entities of Clovis, Portales, Elida, Texico, Grady, Melrose and Curry and Roosevelt counties, the Sun said.