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Old 05-07-2011, 01:59 PM
 
2 posts, read 7,960 times
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Default Santa Fe water shortage?

My husband and I will be relocating to the Santa Fe area in the near future, my husband is an avid gardener, is there a problem with water shortages for gardening in the Santa Fe area? What do locals expect the water situation to be in the future. Are there restrictions on the use of wells? Any thoughts are appreciated
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:02 PM
 
83 posts, read 99,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsunny View Post
My husband and I will be relocating to the Santa Fe area in the near future, my husband is an avid gardener, is there a problem with water shortages for gardening in the Santa Fe area? What do locals expect the water situation to be in the future. Are there restrictions on the use of wells? Any thoughts are appreciated
There are permanent restrictions on watering in Santa Fe. Having a garden and relying on stored or well water is considered almost criminal there.

I have an aquiantance who works for the City and it has tiered billing for water usage. The more you use, the more expensive it gets. I think 8,000 gallons will cost you well over $150 a month right now. I can't really verify that though I just recently moved to Taos because the economy is so bad in Colorado.

The Southwest is not really a place to have a green garden or a massive flowerbed.

In the San Luis Valley of Colorado, for example, there is a cap on drilling wells and you need 35 acres to irrigate one. Some counties are considering expanding that to over a hundred acres.

Water rights are a big thing in the West, they are very expensive and if you don't own them, you can't extract the water even if you live right on a stream or river.

In the future there will be less and less water for a growing population.

If you like green, that might be a consideration with Santa Fe.

That said, there are some neat things you can do with Xeriscape.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. My husband would like to know if outside the city limits (municipal water supply) there are any restrictions on well water use. I am not talking about excessive water use, but enough to grow vegetables. I see the wells are metered but am not sure if that is for just monitoring well useage in the acquifer vs monitoring so people comply with restricitons. Do you know if the well water use is restricted to the point that a garden is not possible? Any thoughts are appreciated.

Last edited by bsunny; 05-09-2011 at 07:45 PM.. Reason: change word
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:03 PM
 
83 posts, read 99,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsunny View Post
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. My husband would like to know if outside the city limits (municipal water supply) there are any restrictions on well water use. I am not talking about excessive water use, but enough to grow vegetables. I see the wells are metered but am not sure if that is for just monitoring well useage in the acquifer vs monitoring so people comply with restricitons. Do you know if the well water use is restricted to the point that a garden is not possible? Any thoughts are appreciated.
Santa Fe county is starting to monitor wells. Some wells are for indoor use only right now. Some places can hit the aquifer and some can't.

I don't know of any watering restriction against having a garden but water used in this matter is frowned upon by some.

If Santa Fe's population keeps expanding at the rate that it is, I could very likely see severe restrictions on water use in the next 5 years or so especially as the Southwest returns to it's dry drought pattern.

Lincoln National Forest is now closed due to it and the forests in the northern part of the state will follow suit very soon. Just to give you an idea of how parched New Mexico really is. I heard some guys today fretting about their fields and that there was no snow up in the high country.

Like I wrote previously, you should look into Xeriscape as a hobby or maybe some fruits and vegtables that grow well with little water.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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Some of us water with gray water, so that is an option to explore.
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Old 05-11-2011, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Morristown, TN
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Container gardening and raised beds require less water than the standard in-ground method. I don't recommend using gray water to water food plants, too many chemicals in the detergents/soaps and such.
Personally (both when we lived there and now) I don't have a problem with people using water to grow food, but I do for grass and non-indigenous plants.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Santa Fe, NM
287 posts, read 484,920 times
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We live outside the city limits with a well, and have never heard of any issues or restrictions on the use of our well water. I have heard that it's difficult to get a permit to drill a new well, but for existing ones, I think you'd be ok.

I use the grey water out of our septic tank to water our garden. It's a triple filtered one with several different holding tanks, and we don't use chemicals to clean our house -- just vinegar, baking soda and tea tree oil, so I figure we're ok to use the water on food plants.

That said, it takes a lot of water to make a garden prosper here since so little falls from the sky. Without the grey water I'm not sure I'd do it since it could take so much from our well.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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Originally Posted by cynanthus View Post
We live outside the city limits with a well, and have never heard of any issues or restrictions on the use of our well water.
Wells require a state permit, and the state allows so many acre feet per domestic well. Usage is "supposed" to be within the allotted quantity. The problem is lack of enforcement and most wells (in the county) are not metered. Within Santa Fe city limits new well drilling is not allowed as of several years ago. That same applies to other cities and towns that have municipal water systems and apply local ordinances to new wells.

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Old 05-12-2011, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
226 posts, read 304,935 times
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DO NOT MOVE HERE if you are an avid gardener!!

It's the desert. It never rains and nothing much grows.

As far as gardening goes I absolutely hate this climate. Unless your definition of gardening is a rock garden, various forms of cactus and a limited selection of drought resistant plants...
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