By Cassie McClure
Published in Las Cruces Bulletin 08.12.2022.
Water conservation is a community effort. For Las Cruces Utilities (LCU), giving the community the tools and the information residents need to be savvy water conservationists is the role of the newly expanded Water Conservation Program, which has three new team members who are introducing themselves to the public at events like National Night Out and Lift Up Las Cruces.
“LCU is expanding the Water Conservation Program not only to bring awareness to conservation but also to the power that each individual has to monitor their water usage and learn more about practical ways to shift toward a more sustainable lifestyle,” said LCU Water Conservation Program Coordinator Rhonda Diaz.
Previously, Diaz wore a lot of hats. She’d go to schools to explain the water cycle to students. She would organize the annual Water Festival for the city’s fourth graders and the Lush & Lean events taught by experts covering topics like irrigation and soil health. Diaz also was the one to answer the call on water compliance issues when she would get tips from residents or LCU crews who might have seen a broken sprinkler or high water consumption.
With the addition of UtilityHawk, LCU’s online system where residents can fine-tune their water usage by setting thresholds that allow the customer to be contacted when it's exceeded, Diaz needed more help.
Now it’s a team of three new LCU Customer Service Representatives: Maria Contreras scours UtilityHawk and alerts customers to any abnormal water use; William Wilkinson goes out into the city to monitor water violations like water ponding or leaving the property or watering on the wrong day; and Molly New establishes outreach in schools and senior community groups and sets up events where the team can detail water conservation information.
“Only a fourth of all LCU customers have signed up for UtilityHawk, so we still have a way to make sure more people know about it and explain how it even helps alert you to water leaks you might not even see,” said Diaz. “When it’s a leak underground, the water can seep into the ground, and the only way you’d know is from a huge water bill. That’s both a loss of drinking quality water and a negative impact to your pocketbook.”
Sign up for UtilityHawk at https://lascnm.utilityhawk.us/login for free.
LCU – Your Utility Connection. Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities
For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: The LCU Water Conservation Team (Coordinator Rhonda Diaz and Customer Service Representatives William Wilkinson, Molly New, Maria Contreras) met up with City of Las Cruces City Manager Ifo Pili, along with Interim Pollution Prevention Manager James C. Woods and Solid Waste Heavy Equipment Operator Robert Diaz at the Lift Up Las Cruces event on Saturday, July 30, 2022.