Keeping an ‘Eye onWater’
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 visit www.savewatersantafe.com.
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]