Nov 14, 2008

El Paso Becomes Newest EPA WaterSense Partner

Several recent projects have increased the use of recycled water

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has welcomed El Paso Water Utilities as its newest partner in the WaterSense program. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson recognized the Utility’s accomplishment during his public remarks at the Dividing the Waters conference Nov. 13 in El Paso.

“Using a little ‘water sense’ can go a long way,” Johnson said. “Retrofitting just 20% of Texas households with water-efficient fixtures and appliances could save 53 billion gal per year—more than enough water to supply El Paso County for a year.”

El Paso Water Utilities has been at the forefront of water conservation initiatives. Its comprehensive conservation program, which includes education, rebates and incentives, and rate structures that promote conservation, makes it one of the premier WaterSense partners.

"El Paso Water Utilities is proud to join EPA in their Water Sense Program. We have been practicing and promoting water efficiency programs for nearly 20 years and this will assist us in taking us and other utilities to the next level in water use awareness and continued sustainable success," said Ed Archuleta, El Paso Water Utilities president and CEO.

WaterSense, a partnership program launched in 2006 by the EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water.

“El Paso continues to demonstrate their leadership in conserving our states’ natural resources,” Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. “El Paso WaterSense partnership will educate thousands of consumers on making smart water choices.”

El Paso Water Utilities is effectively using reclaimed water to reduce demands on the potable water supply system. Over the past several years, a series of projects have increased the use of recycled water. Several distribution lines for reclaimed water have been installed on the West Side. Large turf irrigators such as Coronado Country Club and city parks are using reclaimed water for irrigation. Since 1960, El Paso Water Utilities programs have promoted the use of reclaimed water for other activities such as golf course irrigation, aquifer recharge, power plant cooling and various industrial uses.

El Paso Water Utilities is involved in many activities to increase public awareness including monthly conservation messages on the backs of bills, media advertising and displays at citywide shows, fairs and festivals. Staff members also make presentations to civic groups, school groups and youth organizations. A mascot, Willie, increases the visibility of the conservation message.

The Carlos M. Ramirez TecH20 Center, located in El Paso, has been in the forefront of water conservation since 1991. It educates visitors about total water management in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Additionally, El Paso Water Utilities developed an aggressive program to obtain water rights to increase the use of surface water, which in 1997 accounted for almost 50% of the water used in El Paso, a sharp contrast to the 20% used in 1989.

Utilities, state and local governments and other nonprofit organizations that promote water efficiency are welcome to become WaterSense promotional partners. In addition, professional and trade associations whose members are eligible to join as WaterSense partners may participate as promotional partners.

Additional information about WaterSense is available at