Spring into Action

The Waterwise Business program helps the city’s commercial water customers reduce their water footprint.

Under the guidance of Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth, the Water Conservation Committee is operating at full capacity with three new appointees: Brandon Vella, Navona Gallegos and TC Richmond. With those appointments comes subcommittee assignments in the Commercial, Outdoor and Education sectors. Last summer, we not only hit record production numbers but also record temps with very little rain. The City’s GPCD (Gallons per Capita per Day) numbers increased requiring the Water Conservation Committee and staff the opportunity to make the adjustments necessary to continue to stay water conservative in the City.

Addressing this specific issue, our Outdoor Subcommittee, led by Robert Wood from the Water Conservation Office, will be focusing on building our urban canopy through the implementation of new tree planting incentives and partnerships with local nurseries.  Building upon the success of a pilot program conducted two years ago in three neighborhoods, we will utilize collected data to develop appropriate educational materials aimed at ensuring the survival of each newly planted tree. We are also collaborating with the Municipal Tree Board to circulate a tree guide and we are introducing incentives for city customers who sign up for EyeOnWater.Additionally, partnerships with local experts such as the Master Gardeners and Xerces Society will aid in promoting pollinators and enhancing biodiversity. This group will work closely with the City’s talented Water Resources Team, utilizing technical tools like dashboards and modeling platforms to monitor and track efforts in our pilot programs.

Ramon Coriz also from our office, leads our education program in partnership with the Santa Fe Watershed Association (SFWA). The SFWA not only leads several of the City’s Education programs for students elementary through high school, but also facilitates many of our adult education programs including guided tours into the City’s municipal watershed and Climate Masters Training. We will be actively participating in Earth Day celebrations at Railyard Park on April 20th, hosting spring planting discussions at Southside Library on March 30th, and distributing seeds. In June we’ll be sponsoring the Next Generation Water Summit which is free for virtual attendance for all city and county residents and will be held at the Roundhouse. This event will be accompanied by city demonstration tours across the city that showcase water efficiency projects and strategies.

Finally, in our office, Patricio Pacheco will lead our commercial work, focusing on the Waterwise Business program. This multi-layered initiative involves the Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce and the City’s restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, medical facilities and state and federal buildings. Over 120 businesses have participated in the Waterwise Business program, undergoing assessments to enhance water efficiency in their operations. By participating, each establishment receives a WaterWise badge, signaling to patrons their commitment to water conservation. The Santa Fe Community College plays a crucial role in training a workforce to conduct these assessments on behalf of the City. Visit our Waterwise Business page for more info and to sign up through our partner Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce.