Think about vacation water use
I recently went on a tripwithmy daughter and we spent a week at the Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado. The mornings were crisp enough to almost always require a light sweater and the afternoons always brought light rain showers. The resort itself was so green and lush and there was always staff planting, trimming, and cleaning the grounds.
As we settled into our week, I found myself so relaxed. Between the afternoon swims, the evening ice skating, and the walks on the grounds, I had settled into a wonderful, relaxing pattern. During one of my afternoon showers after our swim, my daughter told me, “Wow, Mom, you waste a lot of water here.” I froze in my spot as the hot water from the rainfall showerhead poured over my body. I stopped to think about the fact that since we had been on vacation, I had treated myself to sometimes two showers a day. I had not even thought about how long I had been in the shower or all the hot water I was consuming at all.
Then I looked outside the glass and saw the huge pile of towels we had accumulated just in one day from the swimming and the showers. I hadn’t even thought about reusing the towels, because I knew they were going to bring us a nice stack of clean towels in the morning. My daughter’s comment brought me back to a shocking reality. We are so extremely conservative in our own home that my behavior had even triggered my daughter to see the difference in my behavior away from home. We were talking afterwards and I asked her why she thoughtwewere using water differently away from home and she replied, “Probably because we are not paying for it.” Not the first timemy daughter has brought on serious self-reflection.
The City of Santa Fe itself is very conservative when it comes to using water, but it made me think of water use in the city from a tourist perspective. Certainly when you visit Santa Fe you don’t feel like you are in the desert. Our city is very green and lush and hardly looks drought-stricken, yet those of us who live here certainly appreciate our water resource. Is it because of messaging, high-water rates for high water use, our enforcement officer who educates people out in the field, all the time spent educating our youth, our rebate program, or the fact that our customers have total control over their water use with our Eye onWater app? I’mnot sure, but what I did learn after this vacation is that all of us still need to be reminded.
Afterwards I looked for the signage in our hotel room and found it hanging behind all our towels on the rack. I moved it to the bathroom sink where we could look at it for the remainder of our stay.
City of Santa Fe business, restaurant and hotel owners are required to post water-conservation signage in their facilities. For free signage featuring beautiful photography by our Instagram contest winner Kate Lindsey, please visit www. savewatersantafe.com.
Christine Y. Chavez has a background in water rights administration and energy and water conservation program management in the state of New Mexico. She is a graduate of New Mexico State University with a B.S. in environmental science and an M.S. in biology. Christine is the water conservation manager for the City of Santa Fe. She may be reached at 505.955.4219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.