Most people take water for granted, but the truth is that good drinking water is not free. It’s even more expensive to conserve water through methods such as a cistern. Water conservation methods are just not affordable for low-income families. One city has developed a unique, first-of-its-kind program to harvest rainwater for low-income families.
$300,000 loan and rebate program
The Tucson City Council (in Tucson, Arizona) has approved $300,000 in funding for a loan and rebate program that will help low-income families participate in water conservation. The city wants to see 100 families in the program, and 31 families so far have been put on a waiting list. The cost for a medium size cistern is about $2,000 and it holds 800 gallons of water, but low-income families cannot afford it, even with rebates. The new program will be challenged with getting the system in place at a cost which they can afford.
Other program benefits
In addition to conserving water, the program will provide more water for tree growth, and shade helps reduce the cost of electric for cooling during the hot season. This results in a health benefit, too, as many people can become ill and even die due to extreme heat.
The program will be run by Sonora Environmental Research Institute, a Tuscon-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to research that resolves environmental challenges and improves neighborhoods for low-income families.
For more details about the program, visit www.tucsonaz.gov/water/rebate