Water usage down in Albuquerque but number of violations are up

Water Authority officials say given all the rain, they were expecting the number of time of day violators to be down—but they’re citing people like crazy.

Watering after 11 a.m. or before 7 p.m., Albuquerque resident James Rawley says his neighbors are pretty good about following the city’s time of day rules for watering. 

“They’re all watering in the early morning, and they have automatic sprinklers come on and that way you don’t have the evaporation,” Rawley says. 

However, not everyone is playing by the rules. Water Authority officials say from Monday, April 1 to Friday, June 7, they’ve gotten 67 water waste reports, 25 of them for time-of-day violations.

Those numbers are almost double what they were over the same time period last year.

“People may have taken a back seat on what their sprinkler timer is set to,” says Water Authority spokesperson David Morris. 

Water Authority officials say spring and summer is always their busiest time, but with all the rain they weren’t expecting an increase in water waste violators. 

“You would think it would be gradually decreasing,” Rawley says. 

Morris says the increase in violations could be because more people are picking up the phone to report waste. 

“We think that perhaps people were more inclined to notice a sprinkler while it was raining or right after it had rained,” Morris says. 

Rawley says even though the drought is over in the Albuquerque area, there’s no need to be reckless with water usage. 

“You’re going to get evaporation twice as much during the day than in the night—that would mean you’re wasting half your water,” Rawley says. 

The Water Authority says the first notice it sends out is just a warning. After the warning, water wasters are fined. 

Anyone who sees a violation is asked to report it directly to the Water Authority. Officials say water usage this year is at about 200 million gallons less than this time last year. 

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