New Mexico Town Has Only 20 Days Of Fresh Water Left
By Tyler Durden
The city of Las Vegas, New Mexico, has 20 days of fresh water left, and officials are searching for alternative sources to prevent contaminated water from flowing to households and businesses, according to CNN.
Not to be confused with Las Vegas, Nevada, the 13,000-person city in San Miguel County relies solely on the now-contaminated Gallinas River, which is full of ash and debris after the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire.
Las Vegas’ water treatment facility typically uses chlorine to clean the water, but it becomes carcinogenic when mixed with carbon-infused water because of all the ash.
“We need to get the carbon out of the water before we add disinfection,” Las Vegas Utilities Director Maria Gilvarry recently told residents at a public meeting.
We noted in late July (T-minus 50 days to no fresh water) that there was no immediate solution to fix the town’s water woes. Time is running out to find new water sources.
City officials are testing water in a nearby lake that could be their saving grace and buy the water-stricken town a few months. The tests take several days, and the hope is the water has less ash that would allow it to be run through the treatment facility.
“Our fingers are crossed on that,” Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo said, adding the tests “will determine the quality of water we’re going to be sending to one of our reservoirs.”
Gilvarry said if the water source is good enough, the city would have about two months of added water capacity, enough time to install upgraded treatment systems capable of processing the sediment-heavy water.
If the water tests are inadequate, city and state officials would implement a boil-water order and possibly increase rationings.
Las Vegas has entered the final countdown until it exhausts all fresh water. Residents have been learning to live with less. They might have to live with a lot less if an immediate solution isn’t found.