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City of Farmington asks residents to reduce water use by 10%

May 28, 2021 GMT

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) — City officials in New Mexico have approved a measure urging residents in Farmington to reduce their water usage by 10% as drought conditions continue throughout San Juan County.

The advisory, which asks residents to voluntarily reduce their water use to ease demand on the city’s water system, will go into effect June 1, The Farmington Daily Times reported.

City officials say the water level at Lake Farmington, where the city’s water is stored, remains at nearly 100%. However, community works director David Sypher told councilmembers that stream flows are at 37% of average, and a lack of snowpack runoff is likely to prevent the city’s water supply from being replenished.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the snowpack for the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas and San Juan river basins was only 40% of normal and 27% of average as of Wednesday.

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About half of San Juan County is characterized as being in exceptional drought, the most extreme category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The rest of the county is in extreme drought or severe drought, the next two worst categories.

City officials said there are several ways residents can reduce their water consumption, including reducing landscaping and lawn watering, avoiding washing hard surfaces such as sidewalks, repairing indoor and outdoor leaks promptly and limiting shower time and laundry usage.