Torres Small, Udall, Heinrich Hail Over $10 Million in Funding to Modernize Water Infrastructure Across Rural New Mexico

Las Cruces, NM U.S. Representative Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.) and U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded more than $10 million to organizations across rural New Mexico to modernize water and wastewater infrastructure through its Rural Development program.

The City of Grants, Alto De Las Flores Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association (MDWCA) in Dona Ana County, Cottonwood Rural Water Association in Artesia, and the Village of Williamsburg are recipients of the grant awards and loan investments.

“In southern New Mexico, water is life. In the face of persistent scarcity, it is critical we continue to make the necessary infrastructure improvements to ensure rural communities are not left behind when it comes to accessing this precious resource,” said Torres Small. “I’m pleased to share that over $10 million in grants and loans are headed to rural communities across southern New Mexico to improve our crumbling water infrastructure. This continued funding is essential to preserving our way of life and our health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I am committed to working with my colleagues to pass legislation that fully secures the water resources we need.”

“Access to safe drinking water is fundamental to healthy families and economies, yet communities in rural New Mexico often face challenges accessing this precious resource. Unlike their urban counterparts, rural communities often do not receive the necessary funding to support critical water infrastructure improvements to keep them safe and healthy,” said Udall, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “These grants are important steps forward to ensuring that rural New Mexico has sound infrastructure to maintain clean water for their residents while protecting New Mexico’s precious water reserves. I will continue to work together with the delegation for critical funding that helps to repair and improve essential infrastructure projects in rural communities so that no New Mexico community is left behind.”

“New Mexicans have known for generations that ‘agua es vida’. For everyone, every day, access to clean water is critical. Still that has never been more apparent than now, as we all come together to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Heinrich. “We must ensure that every New Mexican has access to clean water supplies. Modernizing sewers and wastewater treatment infrastructure is an important part of that effort. That is why I am proud to welcome this major federal investment to upgrade critical water infrastructure and waste system projects in our communities.”

A full breakdown of the $10,991,500 in funding is below:

  • The City of Grants will use a $1,968,500 grant and a $3,008,000 loan to finance a wastewater improvement project to replace wastewater lines throughout the city to eliminate the risk of groundwater contamination.
  • The Alto De Las Flores Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Association will invest a $432,000 grant and $298,000 loan into the renovation of a well, water line extensions, and distribution line upgrades, ensuring that 1,153 residents have access to safe and reliable drinking water.
  • The Cottonwood Rural Water Association will use a $2,872,000 grant and $1,164,000 loan to upgrade existing undersized distribution lines for future growth, provide enough water for fire flow, install fire hydrants and upgrade service meters. Additionally, the association will purchase rights to an additional 50 acre-feet of water sources for additional growth in the area.
  • The Village of Williamsburg will use the $1,249,000 loan to improve and expand the existing wastewater delivery system to prevent a backup of sewage in sewer lines in residential neighborhoods. The improvements will also connect the lines with the city of Truth or Consequences sewer system.