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Small New Mexico town of Magdalena runs out of water

Main Street in Magdalena, New Mexico in 2007.
Main Street in Magdalena, New Mexico in 2007.

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The vicious drought gripping the southwest appears to have a bullseye on New Mexico. Wildfires are burning across the state and water is increasing scarce. So scare, that early this month one town in central New Mexico ran out of water. Mónica Ortiz Uribe from the Fronteras Desk reports on how the town is scrambling to find a new source of water.

If you turn on a faucet in the town of Magdalena in central New Mexico, nothing will come out.

On Wednesday the water level in the town's only drinking well dropped below the well's pump. The water level in the well has dropped consistently as a result of an unrelenting three-year drought.

Lorie Scholes lives in a ranch just west of town.

"We haven't had a drop of rain in three years," she said. "It is so dry here it's awful. It's like walking on potato chips."

The town, which is about 30 miles west of Socorro, N.M., is applying for an emergency permit to drill a second well. Residents are getting water from tanker trucks.

The Office of the State Engineer is working to find new water sources for multiple New Mexico towns experiencing severe water shortages.