Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Incentive Programs Save Water

By Andy Belanger, SNWA Public Services Director and Groundwater Foundation Board Member

While only 10 percent of Southern Nevada’s municipal water supply comes from groundwater, a small segment of our desert community relies solely on groundwater to meet its water needs. The Las Vegas Valley groundwater basin, which has been over-allocated for more than a half-century, serves approximately 6,700 households on wells.

Recognizing that Las Vegas is one of the most arid metropolitan communities in the U.S., the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) encourages conservation through a series of outreach and rebate programs. Incentive programs for well owners include a Sub-Meter Assistant Program, Water Smart Landscapes Rebate, Pool Cover Rebate and Smart Irrigation Controller Rebate.

Most Las Vegas Valley well users do not have a meter on their well and are unaware of their water use. Because the first step in conservation is measuring how much water is being used, the SNWA – through the Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Management Program which it manages – provides a one-inch water meter and a $150 rebate to help offset meter installation costs.

Reducing outdoor water use through the Water Smart Landscapes Rebate has inspired well-using households to remove more than 1.8 million square feet of water-thirsty grass and replace it with a water smart landscape. Eligible well owners receive $2 per square foot of grass removed, up to 2,500 square feet.

In total, SNWA’s landscape rebate has saved more than 98 billion gallons of water by encouraging Southern Nevada homeowners and businesses to remove enough grass to wrap an 18-inch wide strip of sod 90 percent around the earth.

Rebate coupons for pool covers that reduce evaporation and water smart irrigation controllers that adjust watering schedules based on the weather also help conserve water. Well owners receive $50 or 50 percent off the purchase price of a pool cover, and 50 percent, up to $200, off the purchase price of a water smart irrigation clock.

Conservation has become a way of life in our community, and well owners continue to do their part to contribute to conservation efforts. For more information about the SNWA conservation programs for well users, visit LasVegasGMP.com or SNWA.com.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the view of The Groundwater Foundation, its board of directors, or individual members.

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