Much of the water saving is credited to water manager Ed Archuleta.
"'We're going to be fine this summer," he said. "We're basically drought-proof.'
The city will be fine next year too, even if it doesn't rain, and even if the Rio Grande stays low. "We can handle drought next year. Theoretically, even if we have no water in the river, even if there wasn't a single drop of water coming from the river, we could make it through the summer," Archuleta said.
Under Archuleta's lead, El Paso has emerged as a model to other cities in the south-west forced to adapt in a hurry to a world running out of water. The prolonged dry spell and declining snowfalls in the mountains due to climate change are forcing cities in Texas and other areas of the south-west into crisis measures."