Week of May 6, 2002
SAWS COMMUNITY CONSERVATION CHALLENGE
Are you a SAWS customer? Do you believe that your neighborhood (or other group) can reduce water use by 5, 10 or even 15 percent over last year? Do you have a group project that needs some funding? If you answered yes to all of these questions you may want to mobilize your group to make a water use reduction commitment over last year (June 1 through October 30 or July 1 through November 31). As part of the Season to Save Community Conservation Challenge this summer, SAWS will award $1 times the percentage of commitment times the number of ratepayers who sign up to be part of the group. That would mean if your neighborhood had 100 members who committed to participate and the group committed to and achieved a 10 percent reduction from last year, $1000 would be available (10 (%) x $1 x 100 (ratepayers) = $1000).
Sponsored by SAWS and the Neighborhood Resource Center, the Season to Save Community Conservation Challenge is an experiment to see if conservation funds utilized in this manner will save water as effectively as SAWS other education and rebate programs. SAWS Conservation funds are allocated from the water fees paid by the highest residential water users (4th tier). Conservation programming funded by 4th tier residential water users and the commercial conservation fee have contributed to the 34 percent reduction in per capita water use achieved by San Antonio citizens since 1984. Water saved by conservation means that less new water must be purchased.
In addition to the award for achieving their water conservation goal, the group that achieves the highest percentage of savings and the group that saves the most gallons of water will receive special awards. Individuals who participate and make the groups goals will receive a $10 rebate off their water bill or, if they prefer, $10 will be donated in their name to Project, a fund to help low income ratepayers pay water bills in time of economic need.
The members of every neighborhood or group can save 2 to 3 percent of their summer water use by turning the faucet off when they shave or brush their teeth and by only washing full loads of dishes or clothes. The application outlines some other ways that even greater savings can be achieved.
Using Project SIP (evapotranspiration) recommendations all summer to water your lawns will probably reduce water use by 10 percent and you will still have green lawns. Let your lawns go dormant for one month in the period and, for some groups, that will save 10 percent of the groups water use. If your neighborhood is made up of older homes, converting all of the high-flow toilets to low-flow fixtures will save 10 percent for the summer. SAWS will even deliver the toilets, pick up the water wasting toilets, and donate another $25/toilet to the group if this option is selected.
For more information and receive an application, visit the SAWS website at saws.org, call 704-7354, or visit the nearest SAWS Service Center (1001 E. Market or 3930 E. Houston). To be included in the Community Challenge groups must complete the application and obtain the signatures of their group (at least 15 participants) by May 26 for the June 1 through October 31 or June 27 for the July 1 through November 30 group. Set a goal that your group can achieve. The higher the goal, the more the award if it is achieved, but a group that does not achieve its goal does not receive any award.