KTTU "In Focus," Sunday 5/16/10, 10:30 AM & KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 5/23/10, 7:30 AM

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Jeff Biggs, Director, and Fernando Molina, PIO, Tucson Water. High summer temperatures in Tucson cause water usage to increase.

Biggs says Tucson’s daily water usage is influenced by two factors: high daily temperatures, and rainfall.  He says even the hint of rain during the annual summer “monsoon season” causes a significant drop in water demand.   He says it occurs in both residential and commercial use.  He says reclaimed water is used on most area golf courses. He says the cost of this water has increased and when rain is in the forecast, he says the demand for reclaimed water sometimes is virtually “zero.” 

Molina says the utility has several programs aimed at helping customers reduce water use.  He cites the High Efficiency Toilet Rebate Program which is available for replacement of toilets made prior to 1991.  He says customers installing EPA WaterSense certified models using 1.3 gallons of water per flush are eligible for a rebate of up to $120.00 per unit, up to $200.00 maximum per household.  He also says more and more residences are using “greywater” from clothes washers for outdoor watering and are “harvesting” rainwater by collecting it and diverting it to plants and shrubbery. 

Biggs says over 90-percent of Tucson Water’s customers are “residential,” who use over 56-percent of the water.  Commercial customers use just over 21-percent of the water.   He says water used in the City is a "blend" of 60-percent Central Arizona Project water with ground water.