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Water conservation on the wild frontier

Arid El Paso makes every drop count

El Paso homeowners conserve water by using crushed rocks and native, low-water plants (such as cacti) for landscaping, a practice known as xeriscaping. El Paso also has a city ordinance to limit turf use to no more than 50 percent of a house’s landscaping space.Photo: Marie GilotEl Paso is the Wild West. Dust storms, scorching temperatures, and 9 meager inches of rain a year (New York gets 43). A border town at the very end of Texas and in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert, El Paso is a great setting for a cowboy movie, but the harsh landscape makes …

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El Paso alchemy: Make more water by using less

Wading into a water war between two countries and two states

Ed ArchuletaPhoto: Marie GilotBeing president and CEO of a public utility on the U.S.-Mexico border comes with a unique job description. Ed Archuleta, of the El Paso Water Utilities, had to figure out how to make water resources last while sharing them with another country, Mexico, and with another state, New Mexico. Archuleta has been navigating this incredibly complex political environment for 20 years now. During that time, he also managed to implement a nationally recognized water conservation program. Q. Can you describe what awaited you on your first day on the job those 20 years ago? A. El Paso …

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