Water as a Global Commodity
For most Americans, the ability to stand around with a hose and let it rip is taken as a given, just like the right to bear arms and the right to have a big, comfortable chair in front of a giant television. But in many parts of the world, access to water has never been taken for granted and our casual use of such a precious resource is perceived as yet another symbol of Western gluttony.
Only about 1 percent of the world’s water is fresh and readily available. It’s more precious than oil and the cost may soon skyrocket. US companies are already vying to ship water from Alaska to arid parts of India and the Middle East. But companies in China and other nations are getting in on the action as well, with Australia being the first target for many “water brokers.”
If a megadrought or other disaster shriveled the water supply in the American Southwest and governments and residents were forced to import water at a “fair market price,” we’d be totally unprepared to pay for it.
Top Commercial Water Users in Santa Fe
This information is from the current available public records and represents the total usage of each entity between January and April of 2011.
Water User Millions of Gallons in a Four-Month Period
SANTA FE COUNTY UTILITIES DIVISION 40,383,200
LAS CAMPANAS 32,509,100
COUNTRY CLUB GARDENS 5,620,600
CASITAS DE SANTA FE 4,880,900
TALAVERA APARTMENTS 4,383,700
PARK PLAZAS MULTIFAMILY 4,214,500
LA FONDA 3,884,600
ST VINCENT HOSPITAL 3,623,400
LAS PALOMAS APARTMENTS 2,961,000
RANCHO VIZCAYA APARTMENTS 2,891,500
QUAIL RUN ASSOCIATION INC 2,859,000
CITY OF SANTA FE (Genoveva Chavez Community Center) 2,722,800
CORONADO CONDOMINIUMS 2,597,300
VISTA LINDA APARTMENTS 2,341,800
Know Your Water Rates
City of Santa Fe water rates for 2011 more than triple for residences and businesses that exceed their monthly allotments, which vary depending on the number of family members in a residence, the number of residences in an apartment complex or other multifamily development, and the size of a business.
Regardless of allotment, charges are always made per 1,000 gallons used and the price increase is the same for all categories of water customers.
The average Santa Fe resident pays $5.18 per 1,000 gallons, up to 7,000 gallons in a month. After that, the rate becomes $18.55 per 1,000 gallons.
According to city ordinance, the rate will continue to increase by 8.2 percent each year for the next four years.