Article in The Albuquerque Tribune: Water savers earn free movie tickets

Some Albuquerque residents who have been watching their water use may soon be watching movies – for free.

Customers of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority who participated in the conservation program will be eligible to win one of 1,000 $9 gift certificates to Century Theatres in Albuquerque, Mayor Martin Chavez announced Monday.

The ticket raffle is being held to celebrate a 33 percent reduction in Albuquerque’s water usage since 1994, when the conservation program began.

The program gives water bill rebates to Albuquerque residents who have taken water conservation measures, such as installing water-efficient toilets, sprinkler timers or barrels to collect rain. Residents who xeriscape their lawns can be eligible for up to $800 in rebates.

Chavez thanked residents whose water conservation efforts have helped make it “possible for the city of Albuquerque to continue.”

“I wish I could give every one of you free movie tickets.”

The conservation program has had 54,521 participants since its inception in 1994, said Katherine Yuhas, conservation officer for the water utility. The utility credits customers about $1.2 million each year for the program, she said.

“Our water use has gone down every year,” she said. “That’s just an amazing thing.”

Over the next 10 years, the city hopes to see another 10 percent drop in water usage, Yuhas said.

“I think that the customers of Albuquerque can definitely meet that goal,” she said.

People who participated in the water conservation program will be entered into the raffle, and winners should receive their tickets by mail in the next two weeks.

More information about Albuquerque’s water conversation program can be found at www.cabq.gov/waterconservation or by calling Yuhas at 768-3655.

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