Case studies

Santa Fe Water Division

Local water conservation ordinance regulating indoor and outdoor use combined with financial incentives.

Project At a Glance

Utility Overview

  • Utility: Santa Fe Water Division
  • Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Population served: 80,000
  • Service area: 37 square miles


  • Declining water availability and reliability
  • Anticipated rapid population growth
  • Climate change


  • Diversified water conservation and efficiency programs, projects, and regulations that promote decentralized infrastructure.

Costs and Funding Sources

  • Total conservation program budget: ~$223,300
  • Levee fund. The levee fund is a conservation fee collected from utility customers each billing cycle. These funds become part of the Division’s operating budget.
  • Conservation Fund. The conservation fund is fueled by an annual fee and can be used on any of the Division’s various conservations program. Any unused funds from this annual fee roll over into the next year.


Increases water supply reliability and availability
Reduces individual residential and commercial customer water and sewer bills
Reduces peak summer water demands
Reduces short and long-term system costs
Reduces energy consumption associated with water production, treatment, and distribution
Reduced per capita utility customer demand by 42% since 1995
Gallons per capita per day (GPCD) reduced from 163 in 1995 to 90 in 2017
Total water system demand is down ~30% as compared with 20 years ago
95% of Santa Fe citizens self-reported conserving water

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