Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

WATER FROM THE SKY.(Final)

Byline: Leslie Linthicum Journal Staff Writer

Rain collected off of rooftops meets the needs of Taos subdivision

DRY HORIZON WATER IN THE WEST

TAOS -- Spend a little time on the mesa west of Taos and you begin to get a sense of how the future could feel.

There are no water wells in the subdivision of a hundred or so homes here. Residents collect all of their water off their roofs, filter it and use it several times -- first for showering and washing dishes and clothes, next to water indoor gardens, then to flush their toilets and, finally, to water outdoor plants.

If you think you know where this is going -- hippie hovels, clunky rain barrels, wimpy showers and smelly toilets -- think again.

Lovely homes, hot, strong showers and thriving flower gardens are proof that Americans can live quite comfortably on only the water the desert provides.

"It's a really nice way to live," said Lynette Seward, who has lived in her house in the Greater World subdivision since last October and, despite two months without rain or snow, has not had to purchase water.

Seward and her neighbors use drought-tolerant landscaping, water catchment and gray water systems. …

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