Water Smart Tips

Here in Albuquerque, we use 40% of our drinking water on our landscapes. Unfortunately, most of that water is wasted due to inefficient irrigation systems. Below are some tips to help us be more Water Smart.

Below are some ways you can save water in your landscape today.

Use a Commercial Car Wash

They’re more efficient than watering by hand, and some of them recycle their water.

Don't water When it Rains

An automatic rain sensor can shut down your sprinkler system for you.

Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, and faucets

All leaks cause water to be wasted. Repair or replace any equipment leaking water.

Recycle your pool water

Use your pool water to irrigate your lawn, plants, trees, and shrubs. Once you have recycled as much water as possible, drain pool water into the sanitary sewer clean-out—NOT into the street.

Spot Water

Drier areas require more water than areas where water settles. If necessary, water dry areas by hand.

Don’t water the pavement

Position sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn or garden, not in areas where it is not needed. Also avoid watering when it is windy. Wind causes water to evaporate quickly and blows water onto areas where it is not needed. Remember, if it doesn’t grow, don’t water it!

Water without waste

Interrupt watering when puddles or runoff occur. This allows the water to penetrate into the soil before resuming irrigation.

Cover your swimming pool

Covering a swimming pool will help reduce evaporation. An average sized pool can use about 1,000 gallons of water per month if left uncovered. A pool cover can cut the loss by up to 90%.

Design for savings

A mulch, bark, or rock area at least 8 inches wide adjacent to sidewalks and curbs will help eliminate water waste.

seasonal watering recommendations

Wondering how much you should water your plants during the spring months of June, July and August?  Check out the watering recommendations below. To find out how to measure the depth you are watering click here

Maintain an efficient irrigation system

How to Avoid Water Waste

  • Check your irrigation system at least once per month and repair leaks ASAP.
  • A broken sprinkler can waste as much as 16 gallons of water per minute. If left unrepaired, that’s thousands of gallons per month – the same as running your dishwasher 333 times!
  • Don’t let your irrigation system water streets, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Don’t water when it rains! An automatic rain sensor can shut down your sprinkler system for you. Learn more about an automatic rain sensor.
  • Irrigate only when your plants need it. Use a long screwdriver or soil probe to check soil moisture. Depending on the type of plant – roots can be 12” to 24” deep.

How long does it take to deliver 10 gallons of water?

  • 2 minutes with a hose
  • 10 minutes with a 1 gallon/min bubbler (GPM)
  • 10 hours with a 1 gallon/hour emitter (GPH)

When should I water and at what time of day?

  • Schedule your watering times. Keeping a watering routine is not just important for conserving water but it’s critical in training your plants to thrive.
  • Water between 7:00 pm and 11:00 am when temperatures are cooler and wind speeds lower. 
  • Adjust your watering schedule as the season changes; to ensure your landscape is not getting too much or too little water.

Convert your lawn to a beautiful desert friendly landscapes

Are you ready to re-design
your yard?

Gardening in our hot dry climate can be difficult. We are encouraging homeowners to convert their high water grass lawns to more desert friendly landscapes.

  • This saves water, time and money. A well designed desert friendly landscapes yard is easy to maintain because it works with our existing environment.
  • Choose plants that don’t require much water, there are hundreds of desert adapted plants to choose from. Visit our Plants database to see a few.

The Water Authority offers generous rebates for the replacement of turf with desert friendly landscapes. Check out the rebates. 

Call for a FREE Pre-Desert friendly Landscape Conversion Consultation

Not sure where to start? Give us a call and we’ll come check out your yard and help direct you on where to begin with making your yard more Desert friendly. Contact the WA Water Conservation Program Xeriscape Specialist at 505-289-3026 to schedule a visit.






Water smart tips

Watering Recommendations: July 2019

We are heading into the monsoon season and customers are encouraged to follow the summer watering recommendations below. But remember that if it rains, count that day as one of your watering days and cut back on supplemental irrigation. Remember to service your...

Water harvesting for residential landscapes

505Outside sat down with local landscape contractor Hunter Ten Broeck, owner of WaterWise Landscapes Incorporated, to chat about Water Harvesting in Albuquerque.   There are two categories of water harvesting techniques: passive water harvesting and active water...

Watering Recommendations: June 2019

Albuquerque area continues to receive rains with precipitation reaching up to .50” in some areas during the month of May.  As we move to summer months, we encourage customers to follow the Summer Watering Recommendations to maintain healthy landscapes during the...

Watering Recommendations: May 2019

Albuquerque area continues to have a great rainy spring season with precipitation reaching up to .75” (twice) in some areas during the month of April. So far we’ve conserved 450 million gallons this year and the precipitation outlook is looking great! Follow the...

Watering Recommendations: April 2019

Albuquerque area had a great winter season with 150% above normal precipitation for the season but as the days get warmer it is time to follow the recommended watering guidelines for spring season. Remember If it has rained more than 1/2 inch you can skip...

Irrigation: Getting it Right!

As irrigation season ramps up, we sat down with the Water Authority’s irrigation specialist to ask a few questions about the utility’s new FREE Efficient Irrigation Consultations. Why is the Water Authority offering this service? In ABQ, 40% of our drinking water is...

Changes to the Water Waste Reduction Ordinance

In order to tackle inefficient irrigation practices that result in wasted water, and help customers identify malfunctions in their irrigation systems, The Water Authority (WA) recently updated the Water Waste Reduction Ordinance and will be implementing it during the...

Watering Recommendations: March 2019

There is no need to water for the first two weeks in the month of March. The greater Albuquerque area received enough precipitation in the month of February via rain and snow to meet our plants’ water needs! Below are our Spring Watering Recommendations but there is...

Spring Irrigation Startup

When do I start my irrigation system back up? Turn on your irrigation system after the last chance of freezing temperatures has passed (typically late March in the greater Albuquerque area, but possibly as late as mid-April). This will prevent damage to your...

Reduce the amount you water your lawn

Water the lawn only when needed Step on the grass; if it springs back up when you move your foot, it does not need water.  The Water Authority recommends watering just one day per week in March, two days per week in April and May, three days per week in the summer,...

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Water Conservation Program
P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568


505-842-WATR  Option 4

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P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568