U.S. Water News Online
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- In the first full year of a citywide water conservation program, and a dry year at that, Albuquerque water customers saved a billion gallons in 1995, according to a year-end review. This savings amounted to a 2.8 percent across-the-board reduction in all customer categories.
"We really had a pretty significant response, particularly by residential customers," said Norm Gaume, water resources manager for the city. "Adjusting for growth, saving a billion gallon of water is an awful lot of water," added Gaume. Single-family residential water users, representing about 60 percent of all Albuquerque customers, recorded a 6.33 percent reduction in 1995, he noted.
Earlier in the year, Gaume pointed out, some residential customers reduced their water usage by as much as 13 percent. Usage went up, however, as dry weather set in during the second half of the year.
However noteworthy the city's water conservation efforts last year might seem, they actually fall short of the 3 percent or 4 percent goal the city wants to achieve each year until it reaches a 10-year target of reducing per-capita water consumption by 30 percent. Late in 1994, after several studies indicated a sharp decline in available groundwater supplies, Albuquerque launched its intensive program to cut back on water usage.
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