For those of you around the world, who are not familiar with Albuquerque, New Mexico, I will try to put it on the map for you.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a sleepy one-horse town of about 500,000 population...including the sleepy horse. Amazingly, Albuquerque does have running water; electricity and indoor facilities. WOW!
The city is located in the southwestern United States, with our good neighbors to the east...Texas; our good neighbors to the north...Colorado; our good neighbors to the west...Arizona...and our good neighbors to the south...the country of Mexico.
Because of drought conditions in New Mexico for several years, leaders in the state have made water conversation a primary issue for many years now. You can see and hear about water conversation on television and radio; and you can see water conservation issues in the newspaper quite often. Now, all of that raising awareness over the years are paying off for Albuquerque.
The following editorial appeared in the Albuquerque Journal on March 20, 2012, and is entitled;
"ABQ Ahead of Game In Water Conservation"
"Albuquerque gets it...water conservation, that is.
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority and its metro area customers have cut per capita water use 40% since 1994...and hit a state conservation goal 13 years early.
The reduction in usage is particularly impressive given recent dry years.
In 1994, Albuquerque launched a major water conservation effort after experts determined the city was depleting its groundwater reservoir faster than expected. Daily usage at the time was 252 gallons per person.
Conservation measures have included rebates for replacing an existing toilet with a low flush model and for removing a lawn and mandatory landscape watering times. There is a small reward built in for low water users and a bit of a penalty for water hogs. Awareness campaigns promoted conservation.
In 2004, as part of Albuquerque's permit to begin using imported San Juan River Basin water as part of the city's drinking water supply, the state set a legally binding benchmark of 155 gallown per person per day with a 2004 deadline. But, new calculations show that in 2011, the city's daily water usage surpassed that benchmark, dropping below 150 gallons per person.
In 1994, before water conservation efforts began, Albuquerque used 40.6 billion gallons. In 2011, usage had dropped to 34.6 billion gallons. Meanwhile population in the utility's servie area grew from 441,450 to 634,284.
Water utility officials now will begin loking down the road to set new long-range conservation goals. A series of town hall and neighborhood association meetings will be held to get community input on what those goals should be and how we can achieve them.
Having enough water to support appropiate growth in the dry Southwest will continue to be a challenge. But the water utility and its customers have embraced that challenge and moved the goal line in the right direction."
END OF EDITORIAL;
If there's anything we all need across the country, is clean air and water. I'm proud of the residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a job well done in water conservation.
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Copyright; 2012; Jerry Aragon; The Humor Doctor