Striving for a more sustainable future

By: 
Kevin Smith, Brandon Water Conservation Committee
With the recent, and seemingly continuous rain events this summer you may be wondering if we still need to support water conservation practices? The answer to that question is a resounding, “Yes!” 
Water is a precious and renewable natural resource, but it doesn’t exist in a limitless supply. Even during times of abundance, it is important to manage water use. The Water Conservation Committee is committed to promoting environmentally sustainable practices to ensure we continue to meet both the current and future water needs of our community. This includes not waiting until weather patterns change before we change our usage habits. With the support of our Mayor and City Council, the City of Brandon has successfully launched an incentive program to help our residents make water conservation a part of everyday life, while saving you money.
For example, have you seen lawn sprinklers operating when it’s raining? It’s both wasteful and expensive. By installing a rain sensor with your underground lawn irrigation system, you can save water (and money) by triggering the system to temporarily shut down during a rainfall event. If you haven’t already taken advantage of the $50 rebate for the purchase of a rain sensor, or any of the other incentive items: weather-based irrigation controllers, irrigation times, or rain barrels, the rebate forms are available on the City’s website at www.cityofbrandon.org.
If you attended the Loyalty Day Parade this spring, you probably saw the Water Conservation Committee’s float that included three rain barrels that were painted by students from the Brandon Valley Intermediate School art club. These rain barrels were later raffled off and are now helping their owners conserve our drinking water resources by capturing rain water for use on flower beds and gardens!
Hopefully you have seen some of our Water Smarter signs in city parks and in the yards of residents who support water conservation. More signs are available at City Hall so if you are interested in showing your commitment to water conservation, stop in and pick one up. We’d love to see more of them popping up around town.
 No article about water conservation would be complete without mentioning our odd-even lawn watering schedule. The odd-even system was originally implemented to help manage the daily demands that lawn watering has on the city’s overall water system. To help make the schedule more understandable, refrigerator magnets with the details were mailed to every utility account this spring.
We will continue to post updates on the City’s website and Facebook page to keep you informed of news and updates. You can also sign up to receive messages from the city by texting “Brandon” to 33222.
It’s easy to forget the importance of water conservation while we’ve been receiving ample rainfall to keep our yards green this summer. However, as the old saying goes, “You never miss the water until the well runs dry.” In other words, you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Thank you for supporting our ongoing efforts to manage the resources we have, and create a more sustainable future for Brandon!

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Brandon, SD 57005
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