Winterhaven Resident 
Member since Dec 17, 2009



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Re: “Guest Opinion

The WWDC has made efforts in reducing the amount of water usage throughout the neighborhood. They promote the usage of and offer rebates on some low water flow appliances and devices. The primary reason in their efforts to cut water usage was to keep the WWDC rated as a “Small Water Company”. You see if a water company exceeds more than 250 acre feet per year of water usage that Water Company could be considered a large water company and would therefore be forced to follow more stringent state regulations that would be costly for the WWDC to maintain. At one point the WWDC did exceed that amount so they instituted a water policy that would possibly help to ensure they stay below the 250 acre feet per year usage of water, and they have since that point. So as you see the efforts to conserve were initially based on monetary concerns.

The current landscape guidelines do require the large lawns yet do offer a listing of plants that may be acceptable for use in the neighborhood that are more water friendly. I believe that the point to be made is there is no allowance to completely xeriscape ones property to try to be in harmony with our desert surroundings and take full advantage of the low water use technology and landscaping that is available in sympathy of our drought situation. Yes the home owner’s decided to institute the current guidelines, but due to the nature of our drought situation an individual home owner that feels a desire to be in concert with the Sonoran Desert (and the fact that this area is severely under our average rainfall) is not able to make the changes to their landscape that they feel would be responsible.

The current water policy for the WWDC (which was instituted by the WWDC Board and not a vote of homeowners) allows each homeowner with single lot 40,000 gallons of water each month and 25,000 gallons a month if Tucson Water calls for a “Water Emergency” Now most homes in Winterhaven do not use the 40,000 gallon allotment each month but many do. According to the November 2009 listings of the WWDC 82 homes used more than 15,000 gallons which is above the average usage for the rest of Tucson. There were 6 homes above the 40,000 gallon limit (fines are assessed), an additional 17 homes above 30,000 gallon usage, and an additional 59 homes above the 20,000 gallon usage. There are many homes under 15,000 gallon usages but lawns are dormant in November and there are some of these homeowners that choose not to maintain their property in accordance with the WWDC guidelines. I will admit that I have at times exceeded the 40,000 gallon limit and in November I used more than 20,000 gallons. I have 6,000 square feet of lawn to maintain that I would prefer be lush Sonoran Desert vegetation.

Now what the responder “Sun Dried Curmudgeon” needs to realize is that this article was talking about allotments of water and MEAN usage values based on population studies which are completely different than just a base average per lot. The writer of the article was trying to make a point that we in Winterhaven do use more water and that an individual homeowner is powerless to make the changes they may feel is necessary just because the majority people in the area are not sensitive to the concerns of a single homeowner, which does not invalidate the majority position.

Personally I feel that the residents of EWinterhaven that wish to maintain their landscape as they are is fine but exceptions need to be made for those that wish to make the changes they feel necessary in their hearts that are appropriate to our current drought situation.

Posted by Winterhaven Resident on 12/17/2009 at 10:26 AM

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