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A pressurized water broom that cleans patios and driveways, saving nearly 250,000 gallons of water over its lifetime. . .an x-ray film processing unit that recycles more than 90 percent of the one million gallons a typical machine uses in a year. . . a mobile application for smart phones and tablets that helps consumers choose water-saving plants for home landscapes.

 These are just a few of the water-saving ideas that have been funded by grants through the Innovative Conservation Program. Now, Central Arizona Project is joining the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to support this program, which provides grant funds for the development of new and innovative methods to use water more efficiently.

The next great water-saving idea may come at just the right time as the Colorado River is in the midst of a 12-year drought. The Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study released in late 2012 projected long-term effects that could affect the more than 30 million people who rely on Colorado River water. This puts conservation in the spotlight, as residents prepare to do their part to save water.

This year’s $450,000 grant cycle focuses on water-savings devices, technologies and strategy proposals for landscape irrigation and the commercial, institutional and industrial sectors. Awards of up to $50,000 per project are available for public agencies, community-based organizations, private companies, entrepreneurs, research institutes and equipment manufacturers. Proposals are due Oct. 15.

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