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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

Challenges

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

Solution

  • 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.

Benefits

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