SRP Water Conservation Expo: Meet A Fish, See A Robot, Save Money
By Warren Tenney
On March 3 about 1,000 people will pick up a new weather-based smart irrigation controller for their home at a fraction of the retail cost. These WaterSense labeled controllers come with free classes where new owners can learn to program the controllers for easier and efficient watering. These discounted controllers are the biggest – but not the only - draw to the annual SRP Water Conservation Expo. Attendance has doubled since the expo started in 2008 and about 8,000 people have visited the event over the past 10 years. SRP is expecting 1,200 more visitors on Saturday and everyone who attends will get a free water-efficient, high-performing showerhead.
Many people know SRP as a power company, but it also operates eight dams, seven reservoirs and 131 miles of canals that bring water from the Salt and Verde rivers to the Phoenix Metropolitan area. At this annual event visitors learn how SRP manages about half the water treated and distributed by the Valley’s largest cities. The expo started with 16 exhibitors, mostly departments from inside SRP telling its water story. This weekend the SRP Water Conservation Expo expects 50 exhibitors, who will offer the latest information about maintaining drought resistant landscapes and using indoor water more efficiently. Many will offer discounts on their products. SRP will demonstrate one of its underwater robots used to maintain its canals, show off an algae eating white amur fish that helps keep SRP canals clean, and allow visitors an up-close look at invading quagga mussels. SRP historians will be there to show visitors the history of the land where their home now sits.
It’s likely your city’s water department will have a booth at the expo, where visitors can receive information about each city’s conservation program, including free landscape classes and rebates that help homeowners defray the cost of water-efficient products or the cost of converting grass to a drought-resistant yard. AMWUA will be there with plenty of free useful hard copy guides, such as the Smart Home Water Guide to help you find and fix leaks and Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert.
Since 2008, SRP has distributed more than 5,000 discounted smart irrigation controllers at its Water Conservation Expos to visitors who pre-register. These controllers use weather data to automatically determine when to water and how much. It’s worth taking the free classes SRP offers at the event to help you get maximum efficiency from these controllers. When the controllers are installed and programmed correctly, they may reduce your water use by 20 percent and help you save money. This year, you can choose from two different controllers worth hundreds of dollars and take them home for $50 plus tax. Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply and SRP will make up the difference. If you miss the discount this year, make sure to mark your calendar to register early next year.
Photo: That's AMWUA's Assistant Director Carol Ward-Morris, left, and Programs Assistant Sam Jaskolski at the SRP Water Conservation Expo 2017.
For 49 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit www.amwua.org.