A regional water association for Estancia, Moriarty, Willard and Torrance County (EMWT) hopes to procure a USDA grant for $3 million by raising $1.9 million in matching funds, according to Bobby Ortiz, an EMWT board member and Moriarty town councilor.

Ortiz said the money would be used to construct a water distribution system for McIntosh.

He said EMWT has been trying unsuccessfully for over a year to find matching funds. Having been granted an extension, “We hope to have something in place by February of next year,” Ortiz said.

“We asked for capital outlay this year [from the state legislature]. We did not receive it. We tried the water trust board, and we’ll try that again,” Ortiz said. “The state revolving fund, we’ll try that, and we’ll try to get something from the governor. She has her own discretionary funds. We’re going to meet with her soon.”

“We have a long-range master plan that shows what our full build-out will look like and we do have a preliminary engineering report for the McIntosh distribution system. We’re ready to go to full design as soon as we can find some funding,” Ortiz said.

The engineering report, compiled by Bohannan Huston Engineering, says McIntosh “is the most densely populated community in the basin that does not currently have a public water system. The installation of a public water system in McIntosh will be the Estancia, Moriarty, Willard, and Torrance County (EMWT) Regional Water Association’s first step in establishing a comprehensive and sustainable water system for the entire Estancia Basin.”

According to the engineering report, “The recommended alternative includes a new production groundwater well, a [250,000 gallon] storage tank, a 12-inch transmission line, and a looped 6-inch distribution system with fire protection to serve the community.”

Once the McIntosh water system is accomplished, EMWT would begin the next phase of connecting the entire Estancia Basin, according to Ortiz.

The master plan, available on the EMWT website at emwtwater.org/documents/, shows a possible north-south pipeline from Willard through Estancia, McIntosh and Moriarty to Stanley with an east-west branch to Manzano, Torreón and Tajique, another to Chilili and Escobosa, and a third to Edgewood.