Treated water to help irrigated research in New Mexico during drought

July 1, 2013

TUCUMCARI, New Mexico —The university is now able to restart the irrigated research program.

TUCUMCARI, New Mexico — The New Mexico State University Agriculture Science Center in Tucumcari has stopped most of its research for the past 10 years because of the lack of water for irrigation, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.

That all changed in 2011 when a contract with the city of Tucumcari allowed them to get back to investigating irrigated agriculture.

Leonard Lauriault, the new superintendent at the science center, said a 20-year contract with the city has allowed them to receive treated wastewater to help irrigate fields at the center.

Construction on the pipeline to pump the treated wastewater was complete in 2012.

"We are getting 300-acre feet of water per year from the city of Tucumcari," Lauriault said. "And, bringing the water to New Mexico State was the best and most beneficial use for it at the time the contract was signed."

Because of this contract the university was able to restart the irrigated research program.

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