I've taught my family - my husband and two of my three children who are living at home this summer, how to conserve water by taking quick showers. Water in Santa Fe is precious. We have toilets that are efficient.
Santa Fe takes water conservation seriously. This drawing at left, by Tatyana Stavrowsky, was the grand prize winner in the city's 2008 5th annual Children's Water Conservation Poster Contest.
With my leg in a boot cast, I couldn't do the Public Hike into the Closed Santa Fe Watershed this summer but it is through promoting an awareness such as this (coordinated by the Santa Fe Watershed Association, in cooperation with the City of Santa Fe, U.S. Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy) that we become aware of our role in protecting and managing our natural resources.
Santa Feans reduced their water use by 40% from 1995 to 2007. The dedication to conserve water has been extraordinary, with per person usage dropping from 168 gallons per capita per day in 1995, to 101 at the end of 2007. Santa Fe has achieved low per capita water demand levels through the implementation of a comprehensive set of ordinances that require Santa Fe's citizens and businesses comply with water conservation requirements designed to provide financial incentives to conserve water. With 1 - 2 million visitors each year and their added water use, the city's urban area (population 87,641) conservation record is remarkable. Checking on trends such as these (Santa Fe Trends 2008 -pdf) is what I'm doing when I'm not hiking.
Hopefully I'll get back up to hiking speed soon to check out the view from the mountaintops.