In case you didn't know, it's Earth Month. Sure, Earth Day isn't until April 22, but Earth Month starts on April 1 (no fooling). And given the fact that New Mexico currently faces one of the worst droughts on record (see above), it's an opportune moment to talk about water conservation.

To that end, Mayor David Coss is urging Santa Fe residents to join the Wyland Foundation's annual Challenge for Water Conservation  by pledging to conserve water in ways that range from the expected—like fixing leaky faucets and taking shorter showers—to the more obscure (picking up your dog's poop, for instance, helps prevent water contamination and eutrophication). The foundation, an environmental nonprofit, rewards lucky pledgers with a prize sweepstakes, in addition to ranking each city according to the percentage of residents who sign the pledge.

Laurie Trevizo, a water conservation specialist with the city, says the pledge helps remind Santa Feans about water conservation right before the "high-demand season," which starts May 1.

"The No. 1 take-home message is, 'Water is a precious resource, and don't waste it,'" Trevizo says. "People should be conscious of how they're using water—through the summer, and throughout their lives."

To take the pledge, visit