Keep­ing an ‘Eye onWater’

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - WATERMATTERS - CHRIS­TINE Y. CHAVEZ

Spring is def­i­nitely here. As much as I kept hop­ing for more snow and win­ter weather, I found my­self sit­ting out­side in Al­bu­querque in 80-de­gree weather wish­ing I had worn­more sun­screen. It’s beau­ti­ful, don’t get me wrong, but I have been stalk­ing my plants these last cou­ple ofweeks to see­what they are go­ing to do. I have been keep­ing an even closer eye onmy ap­ple tree and be­fore I left for the week­end it seemed to still be in its dor­mant stage. Then I came home from Al­bu­querque af­ter that warm weather and everything in my yard had blown up.

My ap­ple tree is nowdis­play­ing full blooms. So nowI wait to see what hap­pens and if we get the tra­di­tional freeze that hap­pens ev­ery time it gets warm too fast to see if my tree will push through and give me the awe­some har­vest I know it’s ca­pa­ble of. Such is the life of any one of us who tracks the life stages of our plants in an­tic­i­pa­tion of all the fun we’ll start hav­ing in our yards soon.

As we start to gear up our gar­dens, we should eval­u­ate how well our ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem did over the win­ter. Hope­fully it was win­ter­ized well and drained of any wa­ter that could have frozen over the win­ter. This is the time of year where my of­fice starts to get a lot of phone calls from cus­tomers with ex­tremely high wa­ter bills who are con­fused about what could have pos­si­bly hap­pened.

We know all too well that the first place we have to ask them to look is their ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem: over the win­ter, wa­ter in the sys­tem has frozen and when the ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems are turned on leaks oc­cur, caus­ing ma­jor headaches for their own­ers.

The City now has a won­der­ful app that al­lows its cus­tomers full con­trol over what hap­pens with their wa­ter use. The new “Eye onWater” app al­lows cus­tomers to see how­much­wa­ter they are us­ing on a monthly ba­sis, daily ba­sis, and even an hourly ba­sis. For gar­den­ers this is a great tool be­cause you can ac­tu­ally see how much wa­ter it takes to wa­ter your gar­den. With this knowl­edge, you can make sure you don’t get into Tier 2 wa­ter rates, which are very high.

If you had a po­ten­tial leak, you could also see that leak im­me­di­ately in­stead of wait­ing for the very high wa­ter bill to come in the mail or be­fore ex­ten­sive dam­age could oc­cur. Alerts can be set for what­ever you’d like to see. It’s a cool tool and we’ve re­ceived such a great re­sponse. It takes about 5 min­utes for your ac­count to be reg­is­tered be­fore you can get on­line and look at your data.

You can also down­load the app on your phone for eas­ier ac­cess. For more in­for­ma­tion on the “Eye onWater” app and other help­ful in­for­ma­tion with re­gard to spring plant­ing/ir­ri­ga­tion, please visit­wa­ter­

Chris­tine Y. Chavez has a back­ground in wa­ter rights ad­min­is­tra­tion and en­ergy and wa­ter con­ser­va­tion pro­gram man­age­ment. She is a grad­u­ate of NewMex­ico 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. She­may be reached at 505.955.4219 or cy­[email protected]

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