KUNM

San Juan County Encourages People To 'Get On Water Delivery List'

Aug 14, 2015

Trucks delivered 200,000 gallons of water Thursday for irrigating crops in San Juan County after the Animas and San Juan rivers were closed due to contamination from the Gold King Mine spill. 

Bonnie Hopkins is an agriculture extension agent with New Mexico State University and also works with San Juan County. She said she’s been begging people to call and get on the county’s water delivery list – she’s not sure if ditches will be able to flow again before the end of the irrigation season, which is around Halloween.

“It’s not gonna be a blanket all clear flip the switch green light," she said, "so we’re looking at whatever we can do to get us through 90 days from now.”

Many irrigation ditches off the Animas and San Juan rivers are dry after the rivers were closed to the public in the wake of the Gold King Mine spill.
Credit Rita Daniels/KUNM

The county delivered hay and another 15,000 gallons of water for livestock.

The water is being pumped out of the San Juan River upstream from where the Animas River flows in – that river was contaminated last week by 3 million gallons of mine sludge containing lead and other heavy metals.

The EPA issued a $500,000 work-order for water deliveries to start on Monday for irrigators affected by the spill in New Mexico.