Last week, New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) sent a message to public water systems and community leaders and released a public bulletin encouraging action now to prevent water shortages or outages this summer. Low snowpack levels and lack of precipitation in the state are causing increases in drought severity indicators.
NMED’s Drinking Water Bureau offered a series of recommendations for system operators on monitoring and protecting the sustainability of drinking water sources:
- Monitor systems for vulnerability to water shortages such as a decrease in groundwater levels;
- Discuss water conservation with your decision-making body and community members;
- Develop or update an emergency response plan to prepare for potential water outages;
- Participate in the New Mexico Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network;
- Complete or update a development planning process to determine the best way to secure backup water sources or finished water storage;
- Develop a source water protection plan;
- Maintain an operations and maintenance plan and an asset management plan;
- Use a water loss audit process and maintain a water loss program; and
- Join the New Mexico Rural Water Association as a resource for training and assistance.