Magdalena runs out of water, event canceled

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On June 5 the Village of Magdalena’s single water supply failed when the Trujillo Well went dry. Over the next several days and weeks village officials worked to address the issue, while the county, businesses and service groups and individuals and other towns within Socorro County as well as around the state pitched in to make sure the people of Magdalena had drinking water and water for livestock to get them through.

While other wells in the area were made to supply some of the needed water, the shortage provoked village government to impose severe water restrictions, some of which remain in effect.

Magdalena officials attempted to secure funding from the state, which uncovered concerns over a backlog of incomplete audits. The village used $220,000 of its reserve funds to rehabilitate three wells, including the Trujillo Well, and restore water to the community.

The incident also prompted the Magdalena schools to apply for a permit to upgrade their own well from a non-potable supply to a potable water supply so the school can supply its own drinking water.

The water outage prompted several community education efforts in the village of Magdalena, in the City of Socorro and in other communities around the state were also at risk of such an outage, due to a single source water supply or for other reasons.

Magdalena business suffered most as the biggest event of the year was canceled due to concerns about water, and usual visitors who patronized the community avoided it as a result of media publicity about the water shortage.

The 42nd annual Old Timers Reunion and Rodeo never happened. Concerns about the water needs of an influx of people and animals for the event made the event board of directors decide not to hold Old Timers. Businesses also missed out on business for hunting season, because of the publicity Magdalena received statewide. Hunters concerns over the lack of water drove them to find accommodations in other towns. As a result of this loss, some Magdalena businesses retained an attorney to help them find a means for recovering their damages.