Spotlight on Los Alamos: One drop at a time

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By Katy Korkos

Sure, we can take shorter showers, only water the garden every other day and stop running partial loads of dishes or laundry, but how many of us can say we have saved 100 billion gallons of water?The county’s new water and energy conservation officer Matt Dickens can.As a water auditor for the company Smartuse, contracted by the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County, Dickens helped residents, businesses and government reduce their water usage by 30 percent, saving about 100 billion gallons of water over three years with the program.Dickens has just come on board with the Department of Public Utilities as the county’s first conservation officer, tasked with helping the county reduce water usage by 12 percent, and conserve electricity and natural gas as well. He will be working with both large and small water users, from county operations and large users, like the schools and hospital, to individual homeowners.Along with his wife Sara and their two children, Jonah and Tate, Dickens recently moved to Los Alamos and is still finding his way around. The couple has enrolled their children at Barranca Mesa Elementary and his wife is working from home as a learning consultant.To familiarize himself with the county, Dickens has been studying data and aerial photos of the area, looking for usage patterns and ways to save.

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