Water Abundant in Pecos, Andrews

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

PECOS - The city of Pecos sells more water to oil companies and residents year after year.

"In 2009, it was 29,966,000 gallons that we sold in bulk water," Pecos Mayor, Venetta Seals, said. "In 2010, it was 77,702,000 gallons. This year, today, it's 7,631,000 gallons that we have sold in bulk water sales."

According to a recent water study conducted by hydrologists from Arcadis, Inc. out of Midland, their water supply will last them the next 63 years and they have no water restrictions.

Pecos officials attribute it to a combination of water wells used by residents and their three well fields.

Two fields 11 miles south of Pecos near Coyanosa, and another field in Ward County, are all groundwater fields.

All of that water is protected from the sun's evaporation.

"Ours is groundwater, and if you want to say that, then it's going to be a little more protected," Public Works Director for the City of Pecos, Edgardo Madrid, said.

Officials cite it's also their smaller size compared to Midland and Odessa, and that their residents don't have the large lawns to water that those two cities have.

The situation is similar in Andrews, with all of their supplies being groundwater.

City Manager Glen Hackler told NewsWest 9 their water usage is up 10% this year compared to last, but their H2O will last between 60-75 years.

Pecos also understands that makes their water too precious to go unprotected.

Smaller cities like Pecos do have larger water reserves, but they also know they've got to protect what they have or face restrictions also, which is why a Reeves County Judge is reaching out to other counties about forming a groundwater conservation district.

"We've also talked with Judge Won Bang here, and also the judge up in Loving County, about possibly forming an underground water district, and that is to protect the water source out here because right now the right of capture is just whoever can put the biggest straw in the ground," Seals said.

Pecos officials said no city or water district has approached them to buy their water yet.

In the meantime, though their reserves are large, both Andrews and Pecos are stressing to their residents on a regular basis to always conserve water.

"Every time that we do have an opportunity to go to a local fair, or we do have some brochures at the front desk also, instructing or educating the public on how to conserve water," Madrid said.

Officials call it a constant battle to keep the wet stuff going the way it has.