U.S. Water News Online
EL PASO, Texas -- Conservation is a critical component of
water resource management in El Paso. By establishing outdoor
watering restrictions and offering incentives such as rebates for
conversion to low-flush toilets, the desert city of 700,000 has
reduced per capita consumption to 163 gallons per day.
On April 15, El Paso Water Utilities will kick off a unique
program that could save up to four million gallons of water per year.
The massive showerhead replacement program, a component of Phase II
of the utility's Water Conservation Plan, is the first of its kind in
El Paso Water Utilities will begin by distributing 200,000 free
low-flow showerheads -- two to each residential customer and larger
quantities to commercial establishments. The distribution of the
23,000 units requested by local hotels, apartment complexes, and
other commercial customers will begin on May 11.
About 40 percent of El Paso's municipal water supply comes from
the Hueco Bolson, an underground aquifer that also provides water to
Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua, Mexico. A recent U.S. Geological
Survey report confirmed that continued mining at the current rate
would deplete the Texas portion of the aquifer of fresh water in 20
to 25 years and the Mexico portion within five years. Faced with a
growing population and diminishing water supplies, local officials
have said conservation is essential in El Paso.
Also included in Phase II are rebates to the purchasers of
horizontal axis washing machines or refrigerated air conditioners and
changes to the commercial landscape, water conservation, and plumbing
ordinances. These components are planned for later this year.
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