Peterson Air Force Base is getting serious about reducing its water consumption as it faces 12 percent annual rate hikes through 2016.
The base, east of Colorado Springs, buys water from Colorado Springs Utilities, which is raising rates to pay for its Southern Delivery System water pipeline from Pueblo Reservoir. The city-owned utility has gotten approval from City Council for two 12 percent hikes to become effective in 2011 and 2012. How much rates will rise after that hasn't been determined.
The base pays $100,000 a month for water, according to this story. Hence, base officials recently began developing a system that will shut off sprinklers after it rains one-eighth of an inch.
The base also hopes to switch its irrigation system to non-potable water after the pipeline project is completed.
Peterson suggests these ways to save water:
1. When washing dishes by hand, don't let the water run while rinsing. Fill one sink with wash water and one sink with rinse water.
2. Adjust sprinklers so only the lawn is watered - not the sidewalk or side of the house.
3. Run the clothes and dishwasher only when they are full. (You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month)
4. Use the garbage disposal sparingly. (Try composting vegetable food waste instead)
5. Plant in the fall when conditions are cooler and rainfall is more plentiful.