With drought issue on the rise, a New Mexico city is considering a plan that would pay farmers with federal grant money to stop watering their crops.
Farmers in the Clovis area would receive about $400 an acre to make the switch under the city’s proposed water conservation program which is aimed at changing the way famers use their water supply.
Under the plan, farmers would have to rely on rain, and some might have to switch to crops that don’t require as much water.
The city has applied for the grant and is still waiting for word on the funding.
Much of New Mexico is still in a moderate to severe drought, despite recent rains. Extreme drought conditions can still be found in some areas in the western part of the state, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.
In Clovis, officials say that years of drought and irrigation have almost depleted the Ogallala Aquifer, the only source of drinking water for the city.
Officials say that ten years ago, a good well near the city produced around 1,200 gallons of water a minute. Today, if a well is producing 200 gallons per minute, it is considered a good well, Clovis Mayor David Landsford said.