2023 Year in Review

As the water conservation office wraps up 2023, we realize what an incredible year it has been.

• The city-sponsored Next Generation Water Summit was the most successful yet, with city and county residents joining national experts to discuss challenges, solutions and opportunities related to water conservation.

• The city’s water conservation program was recognized recently by our national partner, the Alliance for Water Efficiency, at their conference in Chicago and then again at the North Texas Regional Conservation Symposium in Dallas. Our program is considered a model for other programs across the Southwest.

This program’s success is due to public support and community partnerships. Examples of these partnerships are:

• The Water Conservation Committee, led by City Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth, continues to work in the background, vetting new ideas and informing commercial, outdoor and city-county subcommittees about water conservation programming and pilot programs.

• Our commercial partner, the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, continues recruiting businesses to participate in our WaterWise program, with our list at 150 and still growing.

• The Santa Fe Watershed Association is utilizing its experienced staff and community relationships to integrate water conservation programming into the public schools by offering field trips to every fifth-grade class in the city into our watershed and coordinating K-12 presentations in the classroom.

• Pilot programs with four city neighborhoods, their HOAs and committees, include test marketing, rebates and an outdoor pilot program employing YouthWorks to educate young adults on water conservation.

We also worked more closely with other city departments to promote water conservation. These collaborations included:

Tourism Santa Fe marketing to visitors the importance of saving water by promoting our Certified Waterwise businesses in their 2024 Visitor’s Guide.

• City Parks and Facilities teams working to make city operations more WaterWise.

• The city’s marketing team building joint messaging and coordinating other opportunities with various city outreach teams.

• Environmental Services Division creating opportunities to support the city’s desire to plant more trees and create more pollinator habitats.

• Buckman Direct Diversion Team and Canyon Road Treatment Plant providing tours to students and professionals wanting to learn more about our water system.

• Water Division staff leading the way with advanced metering technology, advanced dashboards to analyze data and thoughtful leadership that is keeping the water conservation program ahead of the game.

It has been a marvelous opportunity to be so well supported, not only by the public but also by all the incredible talent in the city. Our website, www.savewatersantafe, offers many of the resources you have asked for. We are also committed to being transparent, and we report our progress on our scorecard on our website. If you have an idea, a partnership, an event we can support, or if you want to be on our Water Conservation Committee, please contact cychavez@santafenm.gov. Please stay involved and help us continue to improve in 2024. Happy Holidays!