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 fall months of September, October, and November?  Check out the watering recommendations below. To find out how to measure the depth you are watering click here

service your 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.

Tips for Servicing your system

January 2020 Monthly Service Tip and Watering Recommendations

TREES: It’s officially winter and cold weather will be here for a while. January’s service tip is to take a moment to inspect the trees on your property to see how they are doing. Walk outside and take a good look at your tree, starting with where the tree enters the...

Winterize your irrigation system

Winterize your irrigation system

To avoid damage to your irrigation system from freezing temperatures, it is important to “winterize” it by protecting exposed outdoor fixtures. If your hose bib is left exposed or standing water is left in pipes, valves or sprinkler heads during freezing temperatures,...

Watering Recommendations: November 2019

November is when we recommend you turn off your irrigation controller due to freezing temperatures. For trees that still need water this month, hand water per the Fall Season Watering Recommendations. If you have turf, water for only one day per week. Remember that if...

Watering Recommendations: October 2019

Lower temperatures and shorter days in the months of October and November mean less evaporation. Thus, less irrigation is required. Adjust your irrigation controller following the Fall Season Watering Recommendations below to keep your landscape healthy. If you have...

Watering Recommendations: September 2019

September is still hot but the days are getting shorter. Follow the Fall watering recommendations below. Remember that if it rains more than a half inch, count that day as one of your watering days and cut back on supplemental irrigation. Follow the Fall Watering...

Ramp down your watering schedule for the Fall

Ramp down your watering schedule for the Fall

Your landscape needs a lot less water in September than it did in the summertime. About 35 percent less on average. The days may still be warm, but shorter days and cooler nights in the months of September, October and November means less evaporation, which means less...

3 Steps to Landscape Success

3 Steps to Landscape Success

The Water Authority encourages efficient outdoor water use for beautiful landscapes. With some 40 percent of our drinking water going to landscaping, improving outdoor water use efficiency is now the main focus of the Water Authority’s conservation efforts. But...

Watering Recommendations: August 2019

August is hot. 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 irrigation system at least...

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...

Plant Selection of the Month

Purpleleaf Wintercreeper, Euonymus fortunei Coloratus

A great winter groundcover that is ideal for smothering out weeds.

Help, my trees need pruning.

The winter is the best time to prune trees because they are dormant and it’s easier to identify which branches need trimming. See how an arborist can help you check this task off your list with ease.

Have trouble identifying plants? We've got an app for that. 

Have you ever wished you could take a picture of a plant and have the internet identify it for you? Then keep reading.

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Our monthly newsletter covers topics on desert friendly landscape practices, maintenance, irrigation principles, and seasonal tips.

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Contact Information

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