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Bernalillo County’s Water Conservation Program promotes the efficient and responsible use of the County’s water resources.

We do this through:

  1. Water conservation education and outreach
  2. High-Efficiency Toilet Retrofit and Rain Barrel incentive programs
  3. Prohibiting water waste and requiring water conservation for new development, remodels, and additions through our Water Conservation Ordinance and supporting Water Conservation Development Standards and Guidelines
  4. Leading by example by conserving water at County facilities.

 

Water Conservation Tips 

 

Water Smart Landscaping

Bernalillo County is in a severe drought. As we come out of a dry winter into an early spring, it’s especially important to water to our landscapes efficiently – applying enough water to meet plants’ needs, without overwatering. Here are some tips for Bernalillo County residents on wise outdoor water use:

  • Plant the right plants. Select plants that are appropriate for the Albuquerque bioregion where you live. The ABCWUA and Office of the State Engineer maintain excellent plant lists for our area.
  • Provide only the water plants need. Plants appreciate less frequent, deep waterings. You can find guidelines on how deep and how often to water your plants here: BernCo Water Conservation Program Watering Guidelines.
  • Add mulch! Mulch dramatically reduces water loss to evaporation and improves water absorption. Remember to continue adding mulch to maintain a 3-inch depth over time.
  • Walk your irrigation system and check for leaks, broken/clogged heads and emitters, and overspray. Leaking irrigation systems can waste thousands of gallons of water per month. A little maintenance goes a long way.
  • If you have an irrigation controller, adjust it at least once a month to account for changes in the weather. Install a rain shutoff device or other weather-based sensor to ensure your irrigation system only comes on when watering is needed.
  • Bernalillo County’s time-of-day watering restrictions went into effect on April 1 - no spray irrigation between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm.

Need advice on how to improve your water efficiency outdoors? Contact the Bernalillo County Water Conservation Program to schedule a free Residential Outdoor Water Audit, and get suggestions and input from a Water Conservation Specialist that are tailored for your yard.


Use Water-Efficient Fixtures

Does it make sense to switch to water-efficient fixtures and appliances in your home? In this month’s bulletin on protecting Bernalillo County’s natural resources, we compare the costs and water savings achieved by installing water-efficient products in your home.

Look for the WaterSense and Energy Star Labels

First, how do you know whether a product is designed to conserve water? Look for the WaterSense or EnergyStar label. The EPA created these labels to make it easy for consumers to identify efficient products. You can find these labels on products offered through any commercial retailer.

  • WaterSense-labeled products are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. Fixtures such as toilets, faucets, and showerheads qualify for WaterSense certification.
  • Energy Star-labeled products are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing performance. Energy Star certifies a wide range of products, include appliances that use water such as dishwashers and washing machines. In these cases, Energy Star appliances use less energy AND water. For example, Energy Star washing machines use about 25% less energy and 45% less water than regular washers.

Replacing Bathroom Fixtures: Example Costs/Savings

Let’s look at an example of the water and money that can be saved by replacing old, high-water-use bathroom fixtures. Bathrooms are by far the largest water users in the home, accounting for 60 percent of all indoor water use. An important recent study showed that replacing high-water-use toilets is a key strategy to stretch available water supplies nationwide.

Installing a WaterSense-labeled toilet, faucet aerator, and showerhead can save your household about 10,000 gallons of water per year. That translates to about $150 annually in utility bills. Considering their costs, replacing these fixtures pays for itself in as little as one year.

Free/Discounted Water-Efficient Fixtures and Appliances

Bernalillo County residents can qualify for free or discounted water-efficient fixtures and appliances.


Bernalillo County Water Conservation Program
Program Contact: Megan Marsee, Water Conservation and Resource Manager
(505) 224-2158, mmarsee@bernco.gov
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