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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Kadena officials have ordered base housing residents on the island to stop using sprinklers on their lawns in an effort to trim the military’s water bill.

They also have ordered that cars be washed only in designated areas.

“Watering lawns using an outdoor faucet is now prohibited,” said Shingi Kuniyoshi, an environmental engineer who works for the 718th Civil Engineer Squadron. “Instead, residents may consider using water collected from a dehumidifier. Instead of washing cars at home, take cars to the car wash next to the gas station, where water is cleaned and recycled.”

The order, issued this week, applies to all Kadena facilities as well as all military housing on the island, which the Air Force administers.

The move stems from a January executive order requiring federal agencies to reduce water consumption by two percent annually starting in 2008. The goal of the program is to achieve a 16 percent reduction in water consumption across the federal government by 2015.

Kadena spends about $184,300 a year for water on the air base alone, base officials said. The base receives freshwater from a variety of sources. Reservoirs account for 67 percent of the freshwater supply, while 17 percent comes from surface water, 3.3 percent from desalinized ocean water and 9.4 percent from wells.

Kuniyoshi recommends residents implement additional water-saving measures, such as installing a low-flow showerhead in their quarters.

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