NEWBERRY – The Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) has teamed up with the City of Newberry to prevent wasted water.

The SRWMD is providing about $28,550 to help the City of Newberry replace old water meters with newer, more effective ones. The new meters are more precise, and will help the city detect when water is being wasted, saving water once leaks are repaired, according to the SRWMD.

“The district is pleased to partner with the City of Newberry to save water and achieve water conservation goals,” said executive director for the SRWMD, Ann Shortelle.

The funds come as part of the Regional Initiative Valuing Environmental Resources program.

It is estimated that 10.6 percent of the city’s potable water use is currently unaccounted for, due to leaks and various unmetered municipal water uses, according to a water audit undertaken by the Florida Rural Water Association.

Replacing old, inefficient meters and enhancing system accountability will provide the city with the ability to improve their management operations and to readily identify and stop leaks, according to the SRWMD. The project has the potential to save about 21 million gallons of water per year.

“The program will allow us to address leakage in the system and obtain more accurate water use data,” said Newberry City Manager Keith Ashby. “We are appreciative of the district’s assistance with this project.”

The SRWMD set aside nearly $1.5 million for the fiscal year 2012-2013 to help local governments conserve water, find alternative water supplies, protect themselves from flooding, restore their ecosystems and improve water quality.

Fourteen local governments, including Newberry, have received funds from the program.

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