ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A new report says Albuquerque water use dropped seven percent last year amid an ongoing drought.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says the percentage was the biggest one-year drop since 1997.
Officials say the community's total water use for the year, 32 billion gallons, was the lowest for the metro area since 1983. That comes despite the fact that the population in the utility's service area has grown 70 percent in the two decades since.
But officials say conservation efforts helped keep water usage down.
Albuquerque water use began dropping in May and June, even as drought left the Rio Grande nearly dry and Albuquerque gardens parched.