(2009, 2012, 2014, 2017)
The League of Women Voters of Los Alamos (LWVLA) believes that the goal of our county should be to use no more water than can be produced from our aquifer without depleting it. In order to achieve this goal, decisions about growth must consider water use. Even with the current population in Los Alamos, conservation is essential.
For the sake of the public welfare, the County should be guided in all decisions by the following policies:
- Encourage conservation and efficiency of use.
- Preserve riparian ecosystems and wetlands.
- Preserve public lands, water, and open space.
To reduce per capita consumption, we support:
- economic incentives,
- codification of standards for all new construction,
- encouraging conservation practices for existing homes.
We support the County's efforts to apply water efficiency standards in new construction, to reduce leaks, and to irrigate the parks with wastewater effluent. The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) should educate consumers about best irrigation practices, including how to use gray water, and should provide economic incentives to conserve. We support the inclined block rate ordinance.
Residential conservation and vigilance on the part of the DPU will not suffice to achieve sustainability. The LWVLA advocates:
- requiring growth or development to be compatible with the availability of water for the indefinite future without requiring the diversion of the San Juan-Chama water;
- careful monitoring and continuing study of the aquifer;
- increased efforts by the County to participate in and assure that regional and state plans are sustainable;
- engaging the public in the water budget process.
The LWVLA recommends that the County continue to maintain its quota of San Juan-Chama water until a decision is made to build the infrastructure needed to utilize it, and that any plans for use of the water be designed to minimize the impact on White Rock Canyon.