Our View: Conserve water to ease drought

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Posted: Monday, May 6, 2013 10:00 pm

Residents of Santa Fe and the surrounding area don’t have to be reminded that the state is in a drought — in fact, New Mexico is now the hardest hit in the nation because of lack of rain. But we can all use a few reminders about ways to save water. (And thanks, Mother Nature, for the tantalizing bits of rain New Mexico received Monday. Not much moisture, but the smell in the air was glorious, promising welcome relief.)

To help conserve water, the city of Santa Fe has put in place its annual water restrictions. Those started May 1 and, among other things, prohibit outside watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., no more than three times a week. And that’s not all the smart conservation rules we need to keep in mind. People can’t wash a car or a truck at home more than once a month, and only with a shut-off nozzle that automatically stops the water stream when it’s not in use. Car lots, business and governments also can generally wash cars only once a month. No one can use water to clean sidewalks, driveways or other hard surfaces with a hose or power washer. When irrigating, water can’t flow into the neighbor’s yard or street or other hard surfaces. Should you want to install a new irrigation system, you’ll have to get a permit. Any turf grass sod or grass seed mixes cannot contain more than 25 percent Kentucky bluegrass. For people who have an outdoor swimming pool, it must be covered when not in use. Sensible regulations for these dry times.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Philip Taccetta posted at 1:42 pm on Tue, May 7, 2013.

    PhiltheElder Posts: 188

    Roof catchments should be required on all new construction - and certainly encouraged for all existing structures. One inch of rain can capture over 600 gallons of water from every 1,000 square ft. of catchment. Just as important are suitably sized cisterns. Of course conservation inside and out are just as important. Besides turning off the water when you brush your teeth, place a bucket next to your shower and capture the water that's run before it gets hot for household plants and pets. There are "pull chain" valves available for showers so one can easily take a 3 gallon shower - wet down, soap, rinse. If we can't stop growth, let's try to make it sensible - and sustainable.

  • Mike Palaima posted at 11:00 am on Tue, May 7, 2013.

    pressman Posts: 34

    Meanwhile, in SF county at least, building permits for subdivisions are still being granted by the BCC. Where, pray tell,is that water coming from?


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