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Water Use In City Is Down

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Albuquerque’s water conservation success continued in the first six months of the year, with use down 4 percent from the same period last year, according to a report from the metro area’s water utility to state regulators.

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority customers used 15.6 billion gallons of water from January through June, down from 16.2 billion gallons for the same period in 2011, according to the utility’s latest water supply report to the New Mexico Office of State Engineer.

In 2011, Albuquerque metro area water consumption dropped below 150 gallons per person per day, a major milestone for conservation efforts that began in 1994 when residents used 252 gallons per person per day.

Because of seasonal differences in water usage, we will have to wait until the end of the year to see how 2011 compares with last year’s 150 gallon record, but preliminary indications suggest most of this year’s improved conservation has come in reductions in outdoor watering, said Katherine Yuhas, head of the utility’s water conservation program.

Yuhas said the utility has seen a significant increase in residents asking for water audits to help them learn how to conserve, from 80 in a typical June to 134 in June this year. “We can hardly keep up with the requests that we’re getting,” she said.

More than 150 customers attended a “WaterSmart Irrigation” training program Saturday, where they learned how to improve their outdoor watering efficiency and earned a $20 credit on their bill for attending.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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