Did you know that up to 37 percent of the water used by Santa Fe homes is for outdoor watering? Santa Fe is in its fourth year of drought. Although the current situation has been improved by summer rains, the city of Santa Fe is encouraging customers to put every drop of water to work by ensuring that irrigation systems operate at peak efficiency to minimize overwatering, evaporation and runoff.
Increasing irrigation system efficiency and teaching property owners about best management practices result in healthier landscapes, less water waste, less irrigation runoff and reduced water bills. Many irrigation systems can benefit from simple changes such as fixing or adjusting sprinkler heads, ensuring proper operating pressure and implementing appropriate watering schedules.
Irrigation Evaluation Rebate – $50
The city is offering irrigation-efficiency rebates through Oct, 31, 2014. A $50 water bill credit will be given to customers who conduct an irrigation evaluation performed by a certified Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL). The city has certified approximately 30 QWEL professionals. They have been trained in sustainable landscape practices and can audit, install and maintain irrigation systems. Be sure to ask questions about their ideas on how to minimize water waste in your yard or garden and how they will make sure that your irrigation system is watering the right amount for the landscape. A list of QWEL landscapers is available at savewatersantafe.com or qwel.net
Homeowners may also be eligible for irrigation equipment upgrades and a rebate if they participate in the landscape irrigation system evaluation. Only city of Santa Fe Water customers with an existing irrigation system qualify. The rebates do not apply to new installations.
Irrigation Evaluation Rebate applications are available from the QWEL professionals or through the csity. Submit the application, signed by the QWEL professional, to the Water Conservation Office. The application should include the QWEL professional’s certification number.
Irrigation Equipment Upgrade Rebate – $40-$750
City of Santa Fe rebates are also available for the installation or retrofit of automatic “smart” rain sensors, soil moisture sensors and WaterSense–labeled, weather-based controllers. These are the latest in smart technology. Many of the devices sense when there is enough moisture in the air or soil and automatically stop watering.
For more information on this program, contact the city Water Conservation Office at 505.955.4225 or visit savewatersantafe.com
Remember: Outside watering is prohibited May 1 to Oct. 31 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and limited to three days a week—once on the weekend and twice during the week on days of your choice.