There’s so much anticipation at this time when we are all awaiting the summer rains. June is always a challenging month — between pulling the never-ending weeds, making sure everything has enough water, and helping get all our new plants established, the work never ends.

However, there really is nothing quite like enjoying the fruits of our labor. Working on our yard probably brings us the simplest joy and satisfaction. There’s something truly magical about seeing new blooms and buds and discovering life in the garden.

I do worry about water, though. I don’t trust my irrigation system, because I know it’s old and hasn’t been maintained. It clearly leaks, as evident by the gushing wet spots that appear when it’s turned on. Hand-watering is time-consuming, but the work really allows us to learn more about each plant and how it communicates with us when it is in need of water. It’s always a wonder to see how it springs to life the next morning. I’m use the EyeOnWater app, though I’m still monitoring our water use and trying to get a handle on where we can make improvements.

What we are exploring now is how to take advantage of the summer rains headed our way. City of Santa Fe customers are doing the same by exploring our outdoor irrigation rebates. I encourage all of you to go to our website to see all of the different rebates that are offered. Rebates are offered for rain-catchment systems of all sizes, from a rain barrel all the way up to a large-volume cistern.

On irrigation equipment, we offer rebates on rain sensors and soil moisture sensors, and we cover the entire cost of most WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers. So as you begin to investigate your watering needs outside, consider that our rebates might be of help.

Our “Laundry to Landscape” rebate could be of interest, especially if you have a washing machine located on an exterior wall and from which you might be interested in diverting water.

You are allowed to divert under 250 gallons per day without a permit. It’s pretty easy to install and we’ll help offset the cost of parts with a rebate of $175. Fruit trees and other plants thrive on grey water, but special care needs to be taken regarding your laundry products. Plant-friendly products that are low in salts and free of boron work the best.

Lastly, City customers with the EyeOnWater app can closely monitor not only how much water they are using in a billing cycle — which can keep them out of Tier II water rates and very high water bills — but also can be notified of leaks.

The EyeOnWater app gives you the opportunity to save water this summer and to fine-tune how efficient you are with your water use. If you need any additional information on any of these items, please visit our website or call our office at 955-4225.

Christine Y. Chavez has a background in water rights administration and energy and water conservation program management in the state of New Mexico. She is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a B.S. in environmental science and an M.S. in biology. Christine is the water conservation manager for the City of Santa Fe. She may be reached at 505.955.4219 or


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