TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (AP) — City commissioners in the southeastern New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences have approved a year-long moratorium on well drilling while experts study whether an increase in wells is causing the town's famed hot springs to dry up.
Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to impose the ban and commission a study by a group of New Mexico Tech professors.
Mayor John Mulcahy says the move is necessary to make sure a crucial resource is protected. The hot springs, which have reputed medicinal powers, are the lifeblood of the town's inns and spas.
Still, inn owners are divided on the issue.
Bill Martin, owner of the 82-year-old Artesian Bathhouse and RV Park, says reduced pressure in his lines has forced him to close a third of his tubs. Other inn owners who are upstream say the moratorium is unnecessary.
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New Mexico is located in the southwestern region of the U.S. Inhabited by Native American populations for many centuries, New Mexico has also been part of Imperial Spain, part of Mexico, and a U.S. territory.