By Associated Press - Friday, November 9, 2018

CLOVIS, N.M. (AP) - The U.S. government is funneling another $4.3 million to a pipeline project designed to one day bring billions of gallons of drinking water annually to communities in eastern New Mexico.

The latest infusion from the Bureau of Reclamation will help with construction of a pipeline to Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis.

Members of the state’s congressional delegation say the money represents the largest single-year award from the agency to the Ute pipeline project, bringing the federal contribution so far to more than $20 million.

Decades in the making, the project aims to ease the strain on the Ogallala aquifer along the Texas-New Mexico border by tapping into Ute Reservoir.

Critics say the cost will outweigh the benefits as runoff that feeds the reservoir could be uncertain as drought persists.

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