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Program Encouraging Water Efficient Fixtures

Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli is fond of citing the quote famously attributed to Mark Twain: “Whiskey’s for drinking; water’s for fighting over.”

In fact, he uses that phrase to highlight planning for the future and the amount of water it will take to sustain reasonable growth without jeopardizing future generations.

Mengarelli also emphasizes that water conservation is in the best interest of the greater community. He surprised people when he pointed out that even with population growth, the City of Prescott returned more water to the aquifer in 2017 than it used.

“In 2017, The City of Prescott used 6,770 acre feet of water. We returned to the aquifer 7,005 acre feet from our lakes and effluent treatment plant,” he said. “In addition, since 2014, our water usage has decreased about 2 percent on average annually.”

However, Mengarelli stresses that conservation is critical to sustain the future. The City of Prescott is urging water users to take advantage of the city’s water conservation rebate program. Qualified residents and businesses can qualify for up to $2,500 in rebates if they replace inefficient plumbing fixtures, and eliminate or reduce high water use landscaping.

Ten Conservation Items That Qualify for Rebates:

Drip Irrigation Systems. Such systems must include an automatic timer, approved backflow device and drip irrigation installation ($75 rebate).

Landscape Health Check: A certified landscape auditor must complete a thorough landscape audit. A paid invoice must be submitted ($75 rebate).

Rainwater Harvesting: A minimum of a 100-gallon capacity rainwater catchment tank or certified cistern must be installed ($0.50 per gallon, up to a $500 maximum rebate).

Turf Removal: Requires conversion from irrigated turf grass to water-saving landscaping.  A minimum of 200 square feet of residential turf or 1,000 square feet of non-residential turf removal is required ($0.25 per square foot up to $400 maximum for residential, and $800 for non-residential/commercial).

High efficiency toilets. Replacement toilets must use 1.6 gallons or less per flush ($50 rebate).

Commercial urinals. Replacement units must use 1.0 gallons or less per flush ($50 rebate).

Sprinkler Spray Head Replacement. A minimum of 12 units must be replaced ($2 per head, up to $40 maximum rebate).

Leak Repairs. This is a one-time benefit per property for eliminating leaks ($5 per leak, with a $25 maximum rebate).

Showerhead Replacement. Showerheads should not exceed 2.4 gallons per minute ($10 rebate).

Other water smart devices include low-flow, low tech devices ($10 rebate).

According to Leah Hubbard, City of Prescott water resource coordinator, Water Rebate Applications can be completed electronically at waterrebate.com or by picking up application forms and other materials at the Water Resource Management Office, 201 S. Cortex, in Prescott.

Hubbard and her staff also are continuing a series of “Water Smart: Drop by Drop,” interactive education programs about water conservation and water supplies. The next program, “State of Arizona Water Management,” is scheduled at noon, March 20, at the Founders Suite, Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin Street.

Presentations are scheduled for noon on the third Wednesday of each month.

Hubbard commented that practicing a low water-use lifestyle is a way everyone can ensure a long-term sufficient water supply. She says efficient water use will help meet current and future needs, and result in financial savings, decreased energy use and better preservation of the environment. QCBN

By Ray Newton, QCBN

For more information about the WaterSmart Program, visit prescottwater.com or call 928-777-1645.

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