U.S. Water News Online
ALBUQUERQUE --Albuquerque Mayor Jim Baca has introduced a
variety of measures to help the city and its residents cut down on
Recent water conservation measures have helped Albuquerque reduce
its use, but Baca said a severe drought this summer means the city
has to do more.
``It's going to take some action by city government,'' he said.
Baca unveiled his plan during a news conference. It includes
increased fines for residential and commercial water wasters as well
as mandatory requirements for restaurants.
A new ``hospitality ordinance'' would allow restaurants to serve
water only at a customer's request. It also would require hotels and
motels to encourage customers to choose whether or not to wash their
linens every day of their stay.
Baca also wants to increase fines after a fourth violation of the
city's water guidelines. Under the current ordinance, a fourth
infraction brings a $100 fine. Under Baca's measure, such a violation
would cost $150. Each violation after that would increase at least
``Water shouldn't be cheap in a desert,'' the mayor said.
``Probably one of the best ways to conserve is by putting a value on
Also under the mayor's proposal, residents who xeriscape their
yards would be eligible for a larger water-bill rebate -- 25 cents
per square foot instead of 15 cents.
The mayor also suggested the creation of a drought management task
force, which would be charged with writing other guidelines, possibly
including water restrictions in a drought situation.
Baca's plan will be introduced to the city council next month. The
council must approve the proposal for it to become law.
Baca said he wants Albuquerque to take these measures now to
pre-empt more severe water restrictions like those that have been
instituted in Santa Fe and Las Vegas, N.M.
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