Monsoons don’t end the drought
We all know we are in a historic mega-drought. We also know we are in the middle of our monsoon season. Here are several reminders of why water conservation is important all the time and not just during dry years:
Saving water means properly caring for our limited water supply, which we depend on to sustain life. Water conservation is not reserved for only hydrologists and water planners. It is up to each one of us to use water efficiently.
Water is first and foremost for survival. We all use it for drinking, washing, cleaning, cooking and growing food. It helps industry generate electricity, manufacture products and transport people, goods and services.
Saving water helps keep the environment healthy by diverting less water from our watersheds and rivers. It reduces treatment costs and energy used to treat, pump and heat water for our daily use. This in turn lowers energy demand to help prevent air pollution and conserves fuel resources.
Being efficient with our water makes more water available for recreational uses. Quality of life is important. And it is not just about golf courses or swimming pools. Our water also beautifies our lawns, trees, flowers and vegetable gardens, which in turn support essential water-smart pollinator habitats and reduce the effects of climate change. We can’t risk losing out on such uses later.
Water makes our community safe and beautiful. We use it for firefighting and for watering public areas such as parks and athletic fields. It is used to fill public drinking fountains, including those at schools and libraries. Businesses in our community also use water to provide services to all of us. Think of all the water that is used by restaurants, hospitals, laundries, dry cleaners, hotels, car washes, beauty and barber shops, gas stations, health clubs and pretty much any business in Santa Fe.
Water conservation requires effort and forethought, but every little bit we do helps. What each of us does matters. Look at what we have accomplished reducing our daily water use! Our community has made water conservation a way of life.
Water conservation remains the most direct way to address drought, so it’s critical that drought-conscious Santa Feans remain committed to our water-wise lifestyles. To learn more about how you can save water both indoors and outdoors, visit www.savewatersantafe.com.
Christine Y. Chavez has a background in water rights administration and energy and water conservation program management in 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 manager of the City of Santa Fe's Water Conservation Office. She may be reached at 505-955-4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.