Conservation Goal Achieved Three Years Early
Water Authority Customers Reach 150 GPCD in 2011
Responding to rebate programs and public outreach, Albuquerque Water Authority customers have reached the conservation usage goal of 150 gallons per person per day three years ahead of schedule.
In 2004, New Mexico set a benchmark of 155 gallons per person per day by 2024. Albuquerque was required to hit the 155 target as part of the utility's permit to divert imported San Juan River Basin water for the Rio Grande.
The goal was achieved through rebates for high-efficiency toilets and lawn removal, mandatory watering times and aggressive advertising campaigns.
The achievement was announced at a March 12 news conference hosted by Water Authority Board Chair Ken Sanchez.
"The Water Authority had hoped to meet the 150-gallon goal by 2014," Sanchez told reporters. "By meeting it in 2011, the people of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County have brought us to our goal three years early."
"To put the 150 gallons in perspective, our GPCD figure in the mid-1990s was 252 gallons, so we have come a very long way, many years ahead of schedule," Sanchez said. "I thank and commend the people of this community for their efforts. We must now work to maintain these usage levels and look for new and innovative ways to keep saving water for future generations."
By reaching the 150 GPCD goal three years early, Albuquerque saved an additional 2 billion gallons.
Total yearly water use has declined from 40.6 billion gallons in the mid-1990s to 34.6 billion gallons in 2011. That’s a 25-percent decline, even though the population in the Water Authority’s service area grew about 40 percent (from 441,450 to 634,284) during the same period.