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Elephant Butte Irrigation district employees have installed miles of pipeline across the district. This winter they’ve begun work on another section, the Nusbaum Lateral, that is part of a larger, grant-funded project called the Picacho WHEN. Piping the entire 2,634 feet of the Nusbaum Lateral, which is at the tail end of the Picacho branch of the Leasburg irrigation system, will reduce seepage and improve delivery to constituent farmers.
Piping saves, on average, about 385 acre-feet of water per mile of piped lateral per year. The improved delivery efficiency increases the amount of surface water available for allotment and delivery. Required maintenance is also significantly reduced by piping laterals. By first piping the sub laterals off the main canal that constantly fill up and dry out, the district will increase the efficiency of maintenance and operations in surface water management.