Sierra Vista, AZ. 04/16/13. The City of Sierra Vista was recently notified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it is the first community in the nation to adopt the agency’s WaterSense program for future residential development. WaterSense is a partnership program by the EPA that seeks to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. The City has been a WaterSense partner since April 2012.
All new homes in the City are potentially eligible for WaterSense certification as a result of the latest water conservation ordinance passed by the City Council on January 24, 2013. The new code language requires the use of WaterSense labeled fixtures for all interior residential uses, including on-demand pumps or manifold designs for hot-water delivery. This action is the latest in a nearly 20 year commitment by the City to help manage the community’s water use in order to assist Fort Huachuca in meeting water conservation requirements and ultimately protect the San Pedro River.
“To our knowledge, Sierra Vista is the first community in the nation to use the WaterSense new home specifications as the basis for identifying mandatory requirements to ensure the water efficiency of homes,” said Veronica Blette, Chief of the EPA’s WaterSense Program in an April 9, 2013 letter to Mayor Rick Mueller. “We are pleased that Sierra Vista has made use of our new homes tool to inform requirements that are appropriate to the needs of the City and the larger regional area,” wrote Blette.
From 2000-2011, City water conservation efforts resulted in a measurable decrease of groundwater consumption within the city limits of 5.3% despite a population increase of 19.4%. Per capita water use was down 25% during the same period.
“Once again, the City of Sierra Vista is on the leading edge of taking actions that will positively affect our aquifer. I am proud to say that we are again a first through the adoption of WaterSense specification in our codes,” said Mayor Mueller. “The community has, and will continue to step up to the plate when it comes to actions needed to protect our economy and our environment.”