Portales residents frustrated with water restrictions, lack of communication

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PORTALES, N.M. — For the past month and a half, Portales has been under Stage 3 water restrictions as the city negotiates with Roosevelt County Water Coop.

That means no car washing, no watering your grass – with the exception of watering some plants – or filling up any pools.

Just a week ago, residents got an unexpected surprise.

“In my house, my water pressure has gone down,” said Stephanie Hatch, a Portales resident. I have dogs, I have horses. My mom’s older and diabetic, we have to have the water source.”

A post from the Roosevelt County Water Coop on social media says the City of Portales would reduce the amount of water people get in certain areas.

“Because of the low water pressure, we’re having to take more showers and baths, we’re having to monitor how we water our animals. I’m not being able to keep it as fresh as I’d like it to be,” Hatch said.

“I was taking a shower last night and it was the first time that I noticed, but I actually had zero water in the middle of my shower,” said Hayden Shea, another Portales resident.

Residents say all of this happened without any formal notice, and say they are frustrated at the lack of communication.

“The frustrating part is that we have no idea what’s going on. No clue. There are no emails responded to. The comments are turned off on Facebook,” Shea said.

Earlier this week, a meeting was scheduled for residents to talk with city officials – but it was canceled.

The city said on social media they were “pressed to issue a reduction notice” because of the excessive amount of water that was used.

KOB 4 reached out to city reps who said the following:

“We know this isn’t a comfortable time for everybody. This isn’t the direction we wanted to go, but we do have a responsibility to take care of a precious resource. That is one of the things we got to do is to ensure everybody is getting your fair amount of water if we can do that.”

Residents say they want transparency.