The easiest way to conserve water is to use only what you need. Leaks from pipes, plumbing fixtures and fittings are a significant source of water waste for many households and businesses. A typical home can lose 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks. While some leaks like dripping faucets and leaking water heaters are obvious, many go undetected, sometimes for years, because the location of the leak is not visible.
What can you do to help limit wasted water?
In the new five-year water conservation plan, we have identified several goals to address wasted water. To help you with detecting leaks, we are continuing to expand our EyeOnWater participation and using advanced meter data to find leaks, water-use patterns, rebate use, and irrigation practices to improve our programs. This past year, we were able to identify leaks and send 5,207 letters to customers notifying them that they had continuous water flows. This early notification ahead of their bills saved our customers money by getting ahead of issues that could have resulted in a lot of wasted water.
How do you sign up to save water and take control of your daily water use to avoid costly higher water bills? Visit SaveWaterSantaFe.com for step-by-step instructions, and be sure to set your leak threshold to between 1 and 5 gallons. You will be able to track your water use in near real time on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Another five-year water conservation goal is to work in synergy with city departments. A perfect example of this happened when we were contacted by the city’s fire department about a fundraising car wash. These charity car washes might be a tradition, but they waste water, and soapy runoff pollutes our rivers and environment. After discussions about this, the fire department is now leading by example and setting a new precedent by having a car cleaning instead of a car wash. They will vacuum, clean windows and remove trash.
This also sparked a new campaign we are developing that will ask customers not to wash their cars for two months and share their photos online. The campaign will be introduced at the city fire department charity event, Santa Fe Heroes, to support St. Baldrick’s Foundation to cure childhood cancer: Saturday, March 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Santa Fe County Fairgrounds on Rodeo Road. There will be helicopters, BBQ, music, and head shaving.
Come join us so we can help you sign up for EyeOnWater and show you how you can raise money for a good cause without wasting water. Also, don’t forget that March is Fix-A-Leak Week, so be sure to visit savewatersantafe.com for easy do-it-yourself tips and videos and while you are there, sign-up for EyeOnWater.
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 email@example.com.