U.S. Water News Online
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Before mandatory water restrictions went into effect here a few months ago water, levels in Santa Fe's two reservoirs had been dropping nearly 4 percent per week. Now the rate of depletion has leveled off at 1 percent per week.
Santa Fe has some of the strictest conservation measures in the drought-stricken Southwest, and officials here show no signs of backing away from a tough stance when it comes to chronic water-wasters. The city has demanded that residents and businesses cut back water consumption to 75 percent of what they used the year before.
For example, a resident who used 6,000 gallons of water in August 1995 will have to cut back to 4,500 gallons this August. The resident would pay a surcharge per 1,000 gallons over the 4,500-gallon mark.
The surcharge is $15 per 1,000 gallons for dwellings using between 12,500 and 25,000 gallons.
If water users don't make significant cuts, the city can fine them $150. Or it can take a more severe step, installing monitors to allow only that water necessary for basic needs.
"That will drive the point home, when they see what it means on their water bills," said Mike Hamman, director of the city's Water Services Division.
These restrictions, combined with added water from rain received the week of June 10, cut average daily consumption here to 10.7 million gallons that week, compared to 20 million gallons per day during peak days last summer, Hamman said.
Return to the U.S. Water News Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water News Homepage