Current Water Restriction Level
Phase 5

  • Lawn watering is prohibited unless you are on a private well.
  • Vegatable plants and fruit trees must be watered by hand by filling up a container and placing water in the bib around the plant or tree. 



Q: Why has the Village declared Phase 5 Water Restrictions?

A: Phase 5 restrictions have been set in place for stringent water conservation measures because of the Little Bear Fire’s impact on the Village's ability to deliver water to its customers. The changes in the watershed as a result of the Little Bear Fire have caused significant degradation in surface water quality and have forced the Village to rely solely on its groundwater supply wells for the immediate future. We are no longer able to divert surface water into Alto and Grindstone Reservoirs. At the present time, 30% of the Village relies on Grindstone Reservoir for a water supply. If the Village does not take action, at current rates of use, Grindstone reservoir will be out of usable water by mid January 2013. The Village is in the process of converting the Grindstone system over to groundwater.

Q: Will we run out of water?

A: No. The Village has adequate supplies of groundwater to serve all Village customers. 

Q: Will Grindstone Reservoir dry up?

A: No. The Village has a plan to refill Grindstone Reservoir from a different source in order to keep Grindstone available for recreation.

Q: Why has my water been orange and dirty looking?

A: If you are experiencing discolored water, most likely you are on the Grindstone system. Customers on the Grindstone system have been experiencing discolored water due to the mineral content of the remaining water in Grindstone Lake. The color is produced when the lake water is chlorinated (a requirement). Chlorine reacts with manganese and iron to produce the color. The Village has been working with NMED water chemists to address this issue by changing the treatment process. Recently, the process was changed to stop the chemical reaction. You should be seeing a significant improvement in water clarity. Should issues remain, please contact the water department at 575-257-2386 and someone will be dispatched to your area to flush the mains.

Q: Is the discolored water harmful?

A: The discolored water is not harmful to your health and does not pose any sort of health risk to customers.

The Importance of Water Conservation in Our Mountain Village

Being located in a high desert area, the Village of Ruidoso has always been aware of the need to actively conserve water. However, the recent Little Bear Fire combined with the ongoing drought in the region has made water conservation even more important. We will use this page to keep you up-to-date and informed about current situations regarding water.


Who is Responsible for a Leak?

The water meter in your home and the water bill you receive each month can be valuable tools in determining if you have any water leaks. If you have leak that is in the street or before your utility meter, the leak is the responsibility of the Village, and please contact us as soon as possible at 575-257-2386. If the leak is between your meter and your home, even if it is outside the house, the leak is your responsibility.


Helpful Water Conservation Tips

Home Water Audit: Take this quick and easy test to see how water-wise you are around your home!

Fix Your Flapper!: The flapper in your toilet is a part that will wear out and eventually need to be replaced. No need to call a plumber, watch this quick video from The Home Depot and fix it yourself. You can click on this link to enter your toilet make and model and it will give you the right size replacement flapper for your toilet.

Leaky Faucets: Did you know that a steady drip from your faucet at the rate of one drop per second wastes 192 gallons of water in a period of one month? Learn how to fix your leaky faucet and prevent excess water waste.

Water Leaks: The New Mexico Office of the State Engineer has put out an informative booklet that is designed to help you easily identify leaks in and around your home.


Water Conservation by Month

In order to effectively conserve water over the long-term, it must be a year-round activity. Here is a 12-month planner from Water - Use It Wisely with dozens of easy ways to conserve. You can even sign up for their monthly email reminder!

: Take a home water audit
February:Using and conserving water indoors
March:Technologies for conserving water
April:How to program your irrigation controller
May:Preparing your landscape for summer
June:Tools around your home that save water
July:Principles of Xeriscape - water-wise landscape design
August:Planning, installing, and maintaining irrigation systems
September:Choosing and planting low water-use plants
October:Get involved in conservation efforts locally
November:Container gardening with water-wise plants
December:Holiday fun and games and gift ideas