Our rate structure is intended to promote conservation. We accomplish this by charging progressively higher rates per thousand gallons as your usage increases. (See Current Rates.) On average, people use 3-4 times as much water in the summer months as they do in the winter months, presumably because they are watering their landscaping in the summer. By the end of September, you will probably have used about 85% of the water you’ll use all year.
Conservation Tips – Inside
- Grab a wrench and fix that leaky faucet. It’s simple, inexpensive, and can save 140 gallons a week
- Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full and you could save 1000 gallons a month.
- Be aware that home Reverse Osmosis units consume water – several gallons for each gallon of water produced. Use yours sparingly.
- If your shower can fill a one-gallon bucket in less than 20 seconds, then replace it with a water-efficient showerhead.
- Time your shower to keep it under 5 minutes. You’ll save up to 1000 gallons a month.
- Kitchen sink disposals require lots of water to operate properly. Consider a compost pile for food waste instead.
- Check your toilet for leaks by adding food coloring to the tank. Color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes if there’s a leak.
Conservation Tips – Outside
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
- Install covers on pools and spas and check for leaks around your pumps.
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway and sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water every time.
- Albuquerque uses a 1-2-3-2-1 system in which you water your plants 1 day each week in March, 2 days per week in April and May, 3 days per week in June, July and August, 2 days in September and October, and 1 day in November – this is good guidance for our area, as well.
- See the “What’s You Timer Up To” chart on guidance on adjusting your watering timer throughout the year.
- As your landscape matures, consider cutting back on water for the more drought resistant plants. For instance, Russian Sage, Apache Plume and Chamisa probably need no water at all other than rain after 3-4 years.
Our arid climate and high altitude takes some adjustment for those used to gardening in other parts of the country. In addition to your neighbors, you can get some excellent help from:
- Sandoval County Master Gardener Program
Hotline: (505) 867-2582
- Sandoval County Extension Office
711 S. Camino del Pueblo
- New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service: Yard and Garden
The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (www.abcwua.org) publishes an excellent document, Xeriscaping: The Complete How To Guide. You can get a copy at the Sandoval County Extension Office, 711 S. Camino del Pueblo, Bernalillo.
Here are some more links to very useful material on water conservation (thanks to Kate and her daughter):
Thanks to Brooke and her daughter for this link:
And thanks to Melodie and her daughter who provided this link: