March 22, 2019

Luján Tours Community Ditch Serving Northwest New Mexico

Today, Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), the U.S. House Assistant Speaker, toured the Kirtland Farmers Mutual Community Ditch, which serves nearly 700 users and more than 4,000 acres in northwest New Mexico. Danene Sherwood, President of Kirtland Farmers Mutual Community Ditch Association, which governs the 23-mile ditch, led the tour.

"In New Mexico, we know that water is life. Community ditches are the backbone of many New Mexican’s livelihoods, enabling farms and families to thrive. When community ditches - like the one in Kirtland - are impacted by rock slides, thousands of people experience the consequences," said Luján. "Improving and repairing water infrastructure in northern New Mexico is critical to the continued economic success of the region. The impacts of rock slides in this area must be recognized and action must be taken to ensure these communities have access to a reliable water source. I will continue to work with the community ditch association in Kirtland, and ditch associations across the state, to help them access the federal funding they need to succeed.”

“Over 10,000 people in the community of Kirtland, Fruitland, and Waterflow are either directly or indirectly effected by the continual rock slides that occur in Farmers Mutual Community Ditch along the bluffs west of Farmington under Harper Hill. The ditch services over 4,000 acres has 688 user households, is 23 miles long and provides water for Lower Valley Water Users Association as well as River View Golf Course,” said Sherwood. “Water is the ‘life blood’ of our community and until the 8,800 feet of ditch is piped and fixed permanently we will continue to spend $1000’s of dollars each year putting band-aids on it and praying our community will have water.”

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