Today, The City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office launched a powerful video aimed at raising awareness about the value of water and our public health. The video demonstrates the real threat to schools if there is no water.
A day without water is a public health and safety crisis. It means no water to shower or flush the toilet, and no water to drink or cook with, no water to do laundry or dishes and makes it impossible for doctors and firefighters to serve the community.
No one in Santa Fe takes water for granted, but imagine what it would mean to our community if we didn’t have access to a safe, reliable, and resilient water system? There are neighboring communities that have lived, and are living, without water because of fires and floods.
“A day without water is a public health and safety crisis,” says Christine Chavez, Water Conservation Office Manager. “It means no water to shower or flush the toilet, and no water to drink or cook with, no water to do laundry or dishes, or for firefighters, hospitals, schools and businesses to serve the community. This year, we are demonstrating what a day without water would mean for Santa Fe Public Schools. This year’s video demonstrates the real and tangible repercussions for the 12,000 students and the 1,800 employees at our 26 public schools.”
A lot of the work the City and water partners do to save water is often out of sight and out of mind but has resulted in significant water savings many may not be aware of.
The Water Conservation Office has partnered with the Santa Fe Public Schools Sustainability Office (see video below) for a decade to support them in their journey to Organizational Sustainability Through Environmental Stewardship. They have installed low flow toilets and urinals; replaced drinking fountains with bottle fillers; incorporated above and below ground cisterns to support landscaping; replaced athletic field grass with synthetic turf, installed smart irrigation systems, installed WaterSense and Energy Smart rated equipment in all SFPS kitchens; installed parking lot rain gardens; and tracked (and fixed) water leaks using the City’s EyeonWater app. The results are impressive: Since 2010, SFPS has decreased their water use by 51%, going from 55.3 million gallons per year –that’s 213,000 gallons per day and 15 gallons per person– to 26.9 million gallons a year, 103,825 gallons per day and 7 gallons per person! Saving water also reduced their water expenditures by 49%.
“Our water infrastructure supports every facet of our daily lives yet is often out of sight and out of mind,” says Mayor Alan Webber. “We need to remind ourselves to value the water we deliver to and from our homes and businesses. We face incredible challenges with increased climate pressures, such as natural disasters, drought, flooding, and wildfire that require locally-driven solutions. Public officials at the local, state, and national level must continue to prioritize investment in water and build stronger water and wastewater systems. Investing in our water is investing in a future where no New Mexican will have to imagine a day without water.”
Visit our website savewatersantafe.com to learn about rebates, leak detection and tips as we continue to value our water for future generations of school kids.