Getting in line with GPCD
The measurement GPCD or gallons per capita per day is important for the City’s Water Conservation Program. Water purveyors in the state of New Mexico are required by the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer as a condition of approval on their water rights to complete the measurement annually. This includes public utilities, mutual water companies, county water districts, and municipalities. The number is an estimate of how much water each person uses in one day for various purposes, such as drinking, bathing, cooking, and toilet flushing.
For the city’sWater Conservation Program, the annual GPCD is a very important data-collection exercise. The data is collected from the Buckman Direct Diversion, the Canyon RoadWater Treatment Plant, theWater Division’s Source and Supply Department, and theWaste Water Treatment Plant. Water usage is also tallied for various customer classes through the city’s billing system. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to share data and to see how all those individual parts come together to identify our water system and our customers in one big piece. This GPCD number also ties into other program compliance requirement efforts and utility studies such as the Long-RangeWater Supply Plan, the city’sWater Reuse Feasibility Study, and the AmericanWaterWorks Association (AWWA) water audit.
The City of Santa Fe prides itself on bringing down the GPCD year after year even while the population continues to grow. With a total system GPCD of 87 for 2016, Santa Fe has one of the lowest numbers in the entire Southwest. The GPCD trend helps us look at our programming on an annual basis and consider if changes need to be made or new programs developed. Calculations on the various customer classes such as residential, multi-family, and commercial allow us to look at opportunities within each of those sectors as well.
There is something truly gratifying in completing the project and in working with others in various departments to do so. The result lets us know we are all on the right track and that Santa Fe is doing a great job considering our water supply and changes in the future. It also gives us useful information on the success of water-conservation efforts. For more information on the GPCD, please visit www.savewatersantafe.com.
I’d like to give a personal thank you to TimMichael, who is a member of our Santa FeWater Conservation committee and who spent so much time working with me on the GPCD. His review of the data and consensus at the end of the project was so helpful and I am truly grateful.
Happy Holidays, everyone!
Christine Y. Chavez has a background in water rights administration and energy and water conservation program management in the state ofNewMexico. 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 email@example.com.