City recognized for water conservation

Rob Schoeber, director of the Parks and Recreation Department for the city of Grand Junction, discusses the Maxi-Com software which regulates the city’s water usage.

The City of Grand Junction was recognized Tuesday morning for its continued lack of water use at the many parks, practice fields and golf courses it maintains.

The Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) noted that the city had used 30 percent less water in the past six years.  In appreciation, the city was awarded a 2012 Drought Recognition plaque at Hawthorne Park from representatives from the Clifton Water District, Ute Water Conservancy District and other DRIP committee members.

Rob Schoeber, director of Parks and Recreation for the city, attributed the low water usage to the Maxicom centralized computer control system which measures the amount of water each field needs to remain lush.

If it rains at midnight and there is enough water, then the sprinklers won’t come on in the morning, explained Schoeber. The system also monitors the evapo-transpiration rate, adjusting the watering schedule accordingly, he said.

The high tech system was installed at most of the city operated parks and fields in 2006. Other components have been added through the years as the budget allows. “The cost really comes out in savings of water over the long term,” Schoeber said.

“We really asked government agencies to take a leadership role in water conservancy,” said Joseph Burtard, chair member of DRIP. School District 51 was given the same award this year.

Schoeber said the city plans to continue to be a leader in the conservation of water. They plan to add more components to the Maxicom system until all 300 acres the city manages is on the system.

Currently the city maintains 40 separate parks which include medians and roundabout foliage throughout the city.

Schoeber plans to hang the award in the city’s maintenance building. “The park operators are really the ones who have taken a special interest in this program,” he said. They are the ones monitoring and maintaining the recreation areas throughout the city for everyone to enjoy, he added.



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