- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) - A project that aims to bring drinking water to communities in eastern New Mexico will be getting a $4 million boost from the state.

Officials with the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System say the money from the Water Project Fund will become available in March. The money will go toward completing the design for connections between Clovis, Portales and Cannon Air Force Base.

Portales Mayor Sharon King says her city has reduced demand through conservation and the reuse of wastewater, but drinking water wells in the area remain stressed, making the project critical.

The $550 pipeline project calls for tapping Ute Lake to the north, but critics question whether the water supply will be sustainable given the lake’s low levels and persistent drought.

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