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Op Ed - The Way Forward

Water Conservation - Tools to Do More - Part I

Santa Fe is in the midst of one of the worst droughts in recorded history and city officials have announced that they're considering new water conservation measures. The above-normal precipitation we experienced in recent decades does not seem likely to return any time soon. So where do we go from here?

 

Santa Fe water officials and folks living here have already done a splendid job reducing the gallons used per capita per day (GPCD). This number when we first started recording it back in 1998 was 168 and it is now around 109, a stunning decrease of over 35 percent.


Historically, Santa Fe has maintained a low GPCD that other cities have struggled to achieve (e.g., Las Vegas 222, Phoenix 185 and Tucson 177 GPCD). Our historically low GPCD is most likely due to a culture of water conservation that discourages lush landscapes in our high desert environment. We also don't have much agriculture or industries that require a lot of water within the city limits that would drive up our water consumption numbers.

 

Albuquerque in comparison was at a whopping 251 GPCD in 1995 when the city started its water conservation efforts. They are now at 150, a 39 percent decrease. 


How to continue to drive down the GPCD is the the challenge.  Read More >>