In the past 20 years, 14 of those years have been drier than normal, and six years wetter than normal.

Temperature

In 2019 New Mexico was warmer and drier than normal! 1.6 degrees above normal. This ranked in the 20th warmest on record for New Mexico.

The average temperature for Albuquerque was 57.5°, which was 0.4° above the 30 years (1981-2010) normal of 57.1°.

The average contiguous U.S. temperature was 52.7°F, 0.7°F above normal. This ranked in the warmest third of the 125-year period of record.

Precipitation

Average precipitation for New Mexico was 0.52 inches below normal for the year but the 2.2” of rainfall in November made it the 2nd wettest November ever recorded.  

In Albuquerque, the range of rainfall by zip code is between 8-12 inches. The total precipitation for the Albuquerque area in all zip codes was 10.8” in 2019. A good year for Albuquerque and it shows in conservation efforts!

Above-average annual precipitation was observed across much of the nation. Many northern states had their wettest year on record, with much of the central U.S., northeast and parts of the west experiencing above- to much-above-average precipitation. 

Conservation Highlights

How did Water Authority customers do this year to conserve our most precious resource? Excellent!

In 2019, customers used approximately 700 million fewer gallons than last year. 2019 per capita usage is 121 GPCD (Gallons Per Capita Per Day), that’s 4 GPCD less than last year (125 GPCD in 2018). Thank you for your continued action in helping us make progress toward reaching our conservation goal of 110 GPCD by 2037.

Customer Incentives (Rebates)

In 2019, the Water Authority returned $700,000 to customers through the rebate programs. Just over half of that went to customers who replaced 450,000 square feet of high-water use turf with a desert friendly xeriscape. To find out more about rebates, visit http://www.505outside.com/rebates/residential/.

Adding Trees

Trees are a priority for the Water Authority conservation program because of their many environmental benefits and the unique role they play in landscapes. In 2019, customers planted approximately 1,000 trees with the “Tree-Bate” program, which also helps customers pay for tree care. Albuquerque customers have planted more than 3,500 trees in just three years! Additionally, the Water Authority Conservation Program provided $60,000 for tree planting in city and county parks and open spaces. That’s enough to plant an additional 225 trees per year.

Water Use Compliance

Water waste continues to improve from previous years! In 2019 the conservation department issued 732 Water Waste Warnings that resulted in only 77 violations. Thank you for servicing your irrigation system!  

Author: Carlos A. Bustos, Water Conservation Program Manager at the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority. Resources: 2019 Weather Highlights extracted from the National Weather Service https://www.weather.gov/abq/climonhigh2019annual-mainpage and this pdf https://www.weather.gov/media/abq/Annual2019.pdf . Also, https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/news/national-climate-201912