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Cape May government and its citizen-led commissions have put forth a tremendous effort to instill in all residents and visitors the importance of conserving water. Already relying on a desalination plant for supplemental fresh water due to impending salt water intrusion into the aquifer, they have learned to lead by example and show how saving water can be simple.
Water Conservation Garden
The City itself has a Water Conservation Garden at Madison and Cape May Avenues which hosts a variety of low water use and wildlife friendly plants. The Garden is an effort by the City and the Environmental Commission to impress upon the public the need to conserve water and to provide options for low water vegetation. A coloring book and brochure have been prepared and continue to be distributed to educate the public of the Water Conservation Garden. A grant was received last year which has given the Environmental Commission funds to print additional copies of the coloring book and brochure.

These educational items are available at City Hall, the Nature Center and Harborfest.
During the period from 1995 to 1998, City Council planned and financed the installation of a reverse osmosis, two million gallons per day, water desalination plant accompanied by two new wells drilled into the brackish 800 foot Atlantic City sands aquifer. This capital project was financed totally by grants and lowÔÇÉinterest loans. As the only desalination plant in New Jersey, our facility provides 2.0 million gallons of our maximum 3.4 million gallon daily capacity, and currently produces 60% of the potable water used daily on a year round basis in Cape May City, the Boroughs of Cape May Point and West Cape May, and the U.S. Coast Guard Base. This facility has moved Cape May´s status from a water dependent utility to an independent, regional water supplier.
Greening Government
In 2011 a Local Government Energy Audit was conducted for Cape May City. The report included recommendations for upgrades to City buildings. If all of the conservation measures recommended by the audit were implemented, 815,000 gallons of water would be saved annually. The audit recommends low flow faucets and waterless urinals to save 815,000 gallons of water and 40 therms from domestic hot water heating. These strategies will be implemented as renovations are done in each City Building.

Meanwhile the City has already been undertaking a water saving project that is green on more levels than water conservation, automatic water metering. The City is installing 3,889 water meters with encoded registers, radio frequency automatic meter readings, and leak detection. By summer 2011, the completion rate was 94%.

This initiative reduces labor and fuel consumption, which reduces the City's carbon footprint and saves the City money.

Also, the leak detection feature should ensure more timely identification of unknown leaks and thus conserve water, especially in seasonally occupied homes.