One of the greatest accomplishments of the past years has to be the completion of the Double Eagle Water System. The completion of this multiple decades-long project gives the City of Carlsbad and its residents the ability to grow and thrive in a desert environment.
The Double Eagle Water System is located north and east of the City of Carlsbad and occupies land in both Eddy and Lea Counties. This system was purchased by the City in the early 1970’s, and the primary use at that time was for industrial and commercial use. The long-term goal was always to become a secondary source of water for Carlsbad.
After the purchase of the Double Eagle Water System, the City of Carlsbad began developing a plan to improve the well field and its distribution system. In the mid 1980’s, a one million and a three million gallon reservoir were constructed to increase the storage capacity of the system. Then in the 2000’s the City began the well rehabilitation phase of the project. During the first phase of the well project, five wells were drilled at existing locations to increase water production. During the second phase, seven wells were drilled in new locations and a two million gallon reservoir was constructed.
After the wells and reservoir were completed, a three-phase water line project was started. Phase 1 of the project was to install a new 16-inch waterline that would connect the reservoirs into the existing 24-inch water line that was constructed in the mid 1980’s to provide water to WIPP. Phase 2 of the project was to install 26 miles of new 24-inch waterline down the North side of Highway 62/180 and connect to an existing one million gallon reservoir located near the George Shoup Relief Route.
Phase 3 of the project saw the construction of a five million gallon reservoir and a 16-inch waterline to connect the previous phases of the project. Also included was a new state-of-the art chlorination facility. The system ultimately connects to a complex set of control valves that allow the Double Eagle Water System and the Sheep Draw Water System to work in tandem to provide water to the citizens of Carlsbad.
Completion of the Double Eagle Water System has spanned multiple decades. With the completion of Phase 3 of the project, the City will be able to supply the residents of Carlsbad with a secondary water system that encompasses two separate water aquifers. The Sheep Draw Water system pulls water from the Capitan Reef Aquifer, while the Double Eagle Water System draws water from the Ogallala Aquifer. This diversity is extremely important.
As we look to the future of our Water Systems, the City of Carlsbad is planning to develop new wells near the Double Eagle Well field located east of Tatum New Mexico. This project will encompass many phases and unlock additional water from the Ogallala Aquifer. These wells are in a strategic portion of the Ogallala, and they will dramatically increase the amount of water available.
Thanks to many years of careful planning, Carlsbad has become the best-prepared city in the state when it comes to water resources. It would be remiss if we didn’t highlight the forward-looking vision of former Mayor Walter Gerrells and that city council, who began this process back in the 1970s. Afterwards, Mayor Bob Forrest and Mayor Gary Perkowski and those city councils continued to pursue and perfect the water sources. The completion of the Double Eagle project will put our city in an excellent position for long-term water usage and supply. Thank you to our excellent water board, Carlsbad City Council and our city administration team for their hard work over the years.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway