Landscaping company offers water-smart solutions amid megadrought

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — While New Mexico doesn’t have much water, especially amid an ongoing megadrought, one local landscaping company believes you don’t need to tear out your lawn because of it.

“The thinking is, ‘How do we have a beautiful landscape?’ A smart landscape that still uses water but uses water efficiently,” and we call that water management,” said Gary Fears, the co-owner of Green Summit Landscape Management.

Green Summit is Water Smart-certified by Bernalillo County – and the company says it literally pays to make water-smart changes.

“These landscapes are beautiful. They have plants and gravel boulders that are native to the southwest region,” said co-owner Adam Bangerter. “You give water to the plants right at the base of the plant where it needs the water, instead of broadcasting and across the whole planting area.”

There are ways to update your irrigation system to ensure it uses less water. One way to do that is to install a smart controller which Fears describes as “the brain of the system.”

Using this, you can operate it any time and anywhere, just by using your phone. It logs your plant type, how you water and soil them, wind and weather conditions and other things.

“Smart controllers take all of those factors and put them into a big kind of algorithm,” Bangerter said.
“It shakes it up and spits out watering times, and says, ‘this is how much your landscape needs water.'”

Green Summit installed new smart controllers and updated sprinkler heads at La Paloma Apartments in northeast Albuquerque.

“They were able to save 5 million gallons of water and over $20,000 in their water bills in 2020,” Fears said.

Above all, you can still beautify your landscape while saving water and money.

“If you have a vision that hey, we can use water and it’s in its best form, and then think about beauty, you can create absolute beauty and places that really fit the landscape of New Mexico,” Bangerter said.

For information on local conservation incentive programs, visit the Water Authority’s website or check out Bernalillo County’s Water Conservation Program.