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Put Every Drop of Outdoor Water to Work

City of Santa Fe Surpasses Water Conservation Goal for 2013

Saving Water Is Always in Season

How Clean is Clean?

“Turn the Water Off!”

Rio Rancho High School Student Does the Science and Wins

Calendar of Events for 2014!


Link to rebate article waterdrop showing its muscle Link to Santa Fe water conservation goals article with a picture of computer with Santa Fe website Link to poster contest wil]nners article with a detail of the winning poster link showing picture with a glass of water wit the word picture of Hannah Harper in fron of her presentation

Put Every Drop of Outdoor Water to Work

Read about 2014 rebates for Santa Fe residents.


City of Santa Fe Surpasses Water Conservation Goal for 2013

Average daily water use down by 5%! Read more….

Saving Water Is Always in Season

Winners of the Children’s Water Conservation Poster Contest announced. Read more….

How Clean is Clean?

Rio Rancho’s Aquifer Injection Project.

Rio Rancho Celebrates 2013 Water Conservation Numbers

Congratulations, Rio Rancho, for turning your water off! Read more….

“Turn the Water Off!”

Public outreach campaign has residents chuckling. Read more….

Rio Rancho High School Student Does the Science and Wins!

Read her conclusions about river pollution here.

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Water on the driveway is not put to useOutdoor Irrigation Rebates for Santa Fe Residents

As Santa Fe enters its fourth year of drought, the city is encouraging residents to put every drop of water to work. When irrigation systems operate at peak efficiency, residents can minimize overwatering, evaporation, and runoff. Some fixes are simple, such as adjusting sprinkler heads or water pressure, or using appropriate watering schedules. To help achieve this goal, the city is offering the Summer Irrigation Efficiency Rebates from May 1 through October 31.

The two 2014 Outdoor Irrigation Rebate programs are:

1. The Irrigation Evaluation Rebate
2. The Irrigation Equipment Upgrade Rebate

The Irrigation Evaluation Rebate

The Irrigation Evaluation Rebate: $50
Customers who conduct an irrigation evaluation performed by a QWEL professional will receive a $50 credit on their water bill. To receive a credit, follow these steps:

Step one

Step 1. Review the terms and conditions found on the application.

Step 2

Step 2. Have a QWEL professional conduct the evaluation.

The city has certified approximately 30 QWEL professionals who are knowledgeable about water-efficient, sustainable landscape practices. They specialize in local irrigation principles and techniques, and they can audit, install, and maintain irrigation systems to ensure efficient water use.

Step 3

Step 3. Schedule your evaluation.

Step 4

Step 4. Complete the rebate application and submit it to the Water Conservation Office. The application must be signed by the QWEL professional and include his or her certification number.

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The Irrigation Equipment Upgrade Rebate

The Irrigation Equipment Upgrade Rebate - $40-$750

This rebate applies to the installation or retrofit of automatic “smart” rain sensors, soil moisture sensors, and WaterSense labeled weather-based controllers. These devices are the latest in smart technology, meaning they automatically shut off when there is enough moisture in the air or soil. To receive a rebate, follow these steps:


Step one

Step 1. Have a QWEL professional evaluate your landscape
irrigation system.

Step 2

Step 2. Make all recommended repairs, and then install new eligible hardware within 90 days of purchasing it.

Step 3

Step 3. Complete the rebate application and submit it to the Water Conservation Office. The application must be signed by the QWEL professional and include his or her certification number. Your completed application must be received no later than 90 days after purchase date and before the program end date.

The rebates do not apply to new installations. Only water customers with an existing irrigation system qualify. Terms and conditions are available through the City Water Conservation Office at 955-4225 and at




Remember Santa Feans!
May 1 through October 31


Outside watering is prohibited from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You may only water 3 days a week… once on the weekend and twice during the week.




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  picture of new website web page on computer screen

City of Santa Fe Surpasses 1% Water Conservation Goal for 2013

In spite of a three-year drought, Santa Fe water customers decreased their average daily water use by 5% — down from 106 gallons to 101 gallons per capita per day.

The gallons per capita per day calculation, which is an important tool for tracking conservation efforts, uses the total amount of city water consumed divided by the total population. In fact, Santa Feans have reduced per capita water consumption by more than 40% since tracking began in 1995.

The calculations break down the different types of water users by sector or meter type, with single family residences making up the bulk of the water use, followed by commercial users. Santa Feans living in single-family homes use an average of 52.4 gallons per person per day.

“Our customers are obviously environmentally conscious and have made saving water a priority,” said Laurie Trevizo, City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Manager. “Demand is down and participation in our rebate and other incentive programs are up.”

Nick Schiavo, City Public Utilities and Water Division Director, said that precipitation deficits of the last three years are adding up, and the longer the drought, the longer it will take to recover. “During these difficult conditions, businesses and residents are encouraged to continue practicing efficient water use strategies.”




Average daily gallons used per capita:


Santa Fe–52.4


Rio Rancho–71.9






Residents can prepare and better survive current and future droughts through a range of actions, including installing water efficient appliances, using low-use water landscaping, and adopting water conservation habits, such as not letting the water run and only washing full loads of dishes or clothes.

Should conditions significantly worsen over the coming year, the city will apply strategies to alleviate water supply shortages. For information on incentive programs and ways to conserve water, visit


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Saving Water Is Always in Season

  Charming illustration of water splashing from a sink onto a magenta flower with word "water is life  el agua es vida in script handwriting

1st place, Grand Prize, winning poster by
Molly Murphey, La Mariposa Montessori

Congratulations Molly!

Molly Murphey, a fourth grader at La Mariposa Montessori School in Santa Fe, is the grand prize winner of the 11th Annual Children’s Water Conservation Poster Contest. Posters were submitted by students in first through sixth grades and were judged on water conservation message, creativity, originality, and artistic design.

Each year the contest encourages children and teachers to explore the value of water conservation and learn about simple ways to reduce everyday water use. This year’s theme, “Saving Water is Always in Season,” addresses how the four seasons affect mountain snowpack, spring stream flows, summer evaporation rates, drought, and extreme weather events. All have consequences that affect our water supply.

Winners received a prize and will be featured in the 2015 calendar. Molly’s poster, which won the Grand Prize, will be displayed on the back of a city bus and on the calendar cover. First and second place artwork for each grade will also be featured in the calendar. All 18 winners received a trophy and water conservation prize package at the awards ceremony last April.

Judges included Water Conservation Committee members Doug Pushard, Giselle Piburn, Lisa Randall; City Manager Brian Snyder; and Santa Fe Public School Art Coordinator Amy Suma.

The winners:

First Grade
1st place, Kilah Clark, Aspen Community School
2nd place, Lillian Dutton, Aspen Community School
3rd place, Yvette Garcia, Aspen Community School

Second Grade
1st place, Tyler Sandoval Johnson, Aspen Community School
2nd place, Abby Furlanetto, Wood Gormley
3rd place, Tadeusz Bochenski, Wood Gormley

Third Grade
1st place, Alejandra Varela, Nava
2nd place, Lola Karle, Santa Fe School for the Arts & Science
3rd place, Grace Honnell, Santa Fe School for the Arts & Science

Fourth Grade
1st place, Grand Prize, Molly Murphey, La Mariposa Montessori
2nd place, Elana Pilar Bunker, Acequia Madre
3rd place, Tristen Lujan, La Mariposa

Fifth Grade
1st place, Adrianna Cali, La Mariposa
2nd place, Kiara McCulley, Kearny
3rd place, Bowen Gandy, La Mariposa

Sixth Grade
1st place, Ryan Kennemore, La Mariposa
2nd place, Alex White, La Mariposa
3rd place, Ulysses Yarbrough, La Mariposa

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How Clean is Clean? Glass of water with the word clean magnified through the water

Built in 2005, the Cabezon Water Reclamation Facility produces reclaimed water that meets the Class 1A category requirements as described by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Per the state’s regulations, Class 1A reclaimed water may be used for any purpose except direct consumption, food handling and processing, and spray irrigation of food crops.

The Cabezon facility has the capacity to treat 1.2 million gallons of wastewater per day generated primarily from residential and commercial sources. The facility uses membrane-bioreactor (MBR) technology for cleaning the wastewater to create a superior, clean water that is nearly free of suspended solids. As one of the final steps in treatment, the MBR system pulls the water through a microfiltration membrane with an absolute pore size of 0.1 micron. (For comparison, the diameter of human hair varies from 17 to 180 microns.) These MBR pores filter out cloudiness (turbidity), particles, and microorganisms.

The clean water will be used for the city’s Aquifer Injection Project and will be pumped to the injection site near Northern Boulevard, where it will undergo additional advanced treatment. This process includes an Advanced Oxidation Process and Adsorbent Media Process.

Advanced oxidant combines a chemical oxidant with ultra-violet radiation or other oxidants, like hydrogen peroxide or ozone, to achieve contaminant removal through chemical oxidation. Ozone is effective for pathogen inactivation, destruction of organic compounds, and aesthetic water quality improvement.

Adsorbent media, such as granular activated carbon, removes constituents from water when they are attached to the porous surface through chemical bonds or physical attraction. This process is commonly used to remove synthetic organic compounds, disinfected by-products, and taste- and odor-causing compounds.

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An image of a trophy and a thumbs up icon with the word "Congratulations Rio Rancho! Keep up the Good Work!Rio Rancho Celebrates 2013 Water Conservation Numbers

The numbers are in, and the citizens and businesses in the City of Rio Rancho can pat themselves on the back for doing a tremendous job of conserving water. The city’s water usage for the full water system was 136 gallons per capita per day. This is a 38% reduction in water use since 2000. Single-family residential water use has also dropped from 79.7 gallons per capita per day in 2012 to 71.9 gallons in 2013.

Way to Go, Rio Rancho!

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Dog licking plate the official dishwasher of 2014Turn the Water Off! 

The City of Santa Fe has launched a public outreach campaign, There is a Drought On. Turn the Water Off!, to promote water conservation during this fourth year of a record-setting drought. The campaign raises awareness of the ongoing drought and encourages the community to use water efficiently.

Water managers are hoping to extend Santa Fe’s water supply as long as possible and avoid further water restrictions. “To ensure a reliable water supply for our future, we have one single message: There is a drought on, turn the water off,” said Laurie Trevizo, Water Conservation Manager. “We want to take a proactive approach, and the more we can do now, the less dire an impact the drought will have on us.”

The campaign takes a light-hearted, but urgent approach to encourage water-saving behavior through a series of pictures depicting the tagline “the official _____ for 2014.” 

  • The official dishwasher is a dog licking his chops.

  • The official drip irrigation is a water dropper.

  • The official hose is a broom.

  • The official four-letter word is leak.

  • The official bath is a sponge. 

The ads will rotate in local publications, online venues, radio spots, buses, and utility bill inserts. The city is also developing a drought survival guide with valuable resources and tips to reduce water use.

Water managers say existing conservation efforts have led to a dramatic reduction in water use, despite a growing population. Trevizo says every drop of water matters at this point and the city hopes this campaign will get people talking and take even more actions to save water.

For more information visit

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Hannah Harper in front of her displayAnd the Winner is….

Hanna Harper from Rio Rancho High School was the winner of the 6th annual Every Drop Counts Award. This award is given each year to the student(s) who has the best science fair project on water quality or water quantity. Ms. Harper’s award of $100 was for her project titled “#WaterProbs.”

Ms. Harper’s project was to further support the theory that invertebrates are highly sensitive to pollutants. Invertebrates are animals that have no backbone or spinal column, such as insects, worms, jellyfish, starfish, and snails. This year, in addition to nitrates, she tested to see if ammonia, phosphates, or pH affected invertebrates. Ammonia and pH both seemed to yield no affect, but the phosphates and nitrates both had a high Pearson’s correlation number, which was used to convey negative consequences on the invertebrates.

Ms. Harper performed conductivity and total dissolved solids tests to solidify and confirm her results. She sampled the water using a bio survey. The closer the pollutants came to 5 parts-per-million (ppm) concentration in the water, the more potent they appeared to be. In this Phase II experiment, the nitrate correlation number went from -0.7 to -0.9, which shows that invertebrate populations are not only affected by pollutants, but also that these pollutants will eventually increase to a point where the invertebrates cannot survive.

“If there was more water in the river to dilute the chemicals, this could potentially solve the issue.” said Ms. Harper.

If you have a student who needs assistance with science expo projects, call (505) 896-8715.


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A Newsletter Published by the New Mexico Water Conservation Alliance


A Newsletter Published by the New Mexico Water Conservation Alliance