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City Comes in Under Water Goal

By Sean Olson
Journal Staff Writer
       Albuquerque dropped to its lowest water usage per person ever in 2008, shattering the city-county Water Utility Authority water-use goal for the year.
    The city used about 32.3 billion gallons in 2008, roughly 600 million gallons less than in 2007, according to year-end numbers released by the water authority. The city also added just under 3,000 new customers in the year.
    That brings the average per-capita per-day water use to 161 gallons a person, four gallons less than the goal — as well as four gallons less than Albuquerque's lowest total, posted in the very rainy 2006.
    Water conservation officer Katherine Yuhas said Tuesday the success of the authority's Water by the Numbers and toilet rebate programs was a big reason for meeting the goals. The biggest reason, she said, was residents' willingness to conserve.
    "It shows the customers listened," Yuhas said of the year-end totals.
    Water board chairwoman Deanna Archuleta said she was proud of the metro area for conserving more water despite 2 fewer inches of rainfall this year, but said water use must continue to drop.
    "We can do better. We can always do better," she said.
    Next year's goal is to lower the per-capita per-day use to 159 gallons. Yuhas said that with population growth, the city should be able to meet that goal by using roughly the same amount of water used in 2008.

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