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Water Conservation FAQs

On the Resources page and throughout this website we provide a variety of informational materials on water conservation, as well as links to other helpful websites. Topics include indoor efficiencies, how to detect leaks, and outdoor efficiencies.

Or, you can attend the Lush and Lean Workshops, which are offered each spring by the Water Conservation Program.

The City of Las Cruces restricts outdoor irrigation on certain days and times in the interest of water conservation.

Year-round, properties may irrigate up to 3 days per week; properties with an even address may irrigation on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; properties with an odd address may irrigate on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. This applies to all commercial and residential properties. The regulation is intended to prevent overwatering, since landscapes generally do not need daily irrigation.

During the warm season, April through September, residents may only irrigate before 10am and after 6pm. This regulation is intended to reduce evaporation losses. Up to 50% of water from sprinklers can be lost to evaporation during the hot part of the day; other kinds of irrigation also experience evaporation losses.

The restrictions generally apply to all Las Cruces Utility customers, residential and commercial, and all properties within City boundaries.

There are other watering restrictions and prohibitions, as well as exceptions to the information presented above. For more information, visit the Watering Restrictions page of this website and read the Water Conservation Regulations.

The Water Conservation Regulations recognize a number of situations in which a variance to the watering restrictions may be required. For complete information, visit the Variances page on this website.

The Water Conservation Program promotes water-wise landscaping, gardening, and irrigation through the Lush and Lean Workshops, which are offered each spring.

Each spring, over 1,000 area elementary students attend the Water Festival, a field trip day to learn about water conservation topics.

The Water Conservation Program provides information at a variety of local events and presentations to local groups. For more information, contact the Water Conservation Coordinator at (575) 528-3549.

Las Cruces Utilities very much appreciates receiving your reports of leaks, water running in the street, and other forms of prohibited water waste. Please visit the Report Water Waste page for more information and call the Water Waste Hotline at (575) 528-3549 whenever you see water waste.

As of 2015, Las Cruces relies entirely on groundwater, which is pumped from the Mesilla and the Jornada del Muerto basins. More information about the basins and an area map are shown on the Water Sources page.

There are several ways to answer this question, In 2014, the total water produced divided by the estimated population was 166.7 gallons per person per day. This number includes the water used by industrial and commercial accounts.

The total water used by single family residences divided by the estimated population in single family residences was 116 gallons per person per day. And for multi-family housing, the estimate was 51.1 gallons per person per day.

To find an average use for a household like yours for a month, multiply 116 gal (for a single family residence) x 30 days x # of people in your household. Or, for an apartment, substitute 51.1 gal for the 116 gal. Compare the result to your monthly utility bills. Keep in mind that average summer usage is higher than this and average winter usage is lower than this.

If your usage is significantly higher than the average, visit our Conservation Practices pages to see how you can reduce your use.

If your water use has suddenly skyrocketed, it’s possible you may have a leak in your home or service line. Please visit the How to Detect Leaks page for details to help you make an initial assessment. Also, consider whether your higher use may be due to a recently installed appliance or irrigation system, check your irrigation timer, and make sure you don’t have a hose running somewhere on the property.

You may call customer service (575) 541-2111 to request a review of your bill and for assistance narrowing down the source of the problem. Customers may also request a free, informal home water audit.

It is legal to harvest rainwater from your residence in New Mexico and in Las Cruces. There are a variety of ways to do this, from capturing water in depressions on the ground, called swales, to capturing water from the roof in a barrel or tank. For more information, visit the Rainwater Harvesting section on our Resources page.

It is legal to use greywater (also spelled "graywater"), usually defined as water from showers and tubs, washing machines, and bathroom sinks, to water your landscape. There are a number of health and safety considerations as well as regulations. If you are interested, please consult New Mexico Graywater Guide from the Office of the State Engineer and other information in the Outdoor Water Use section of the Resources page.

Residents have two options for emptying pools. They may empty the pool into their yard if they follow the instructions below, or they may empty the pool into the sanitary sewer, but only after calling Adrian Carranza at Las Cruces Utilities at (575) 642-8314 (Monday thru Friday 7am – 4pm). Utilities must first check to make sure the water will not cause a backup of the sewer system.

If a resident chooses to empty the pool into their yard, the following considerations apply:

  1. Often the chlorine level is low. However, if there are high levels of chlorine in the pool water, it could damage sensitive plants. There may also be other “guck” in the pool that will stick to plants and landscape.
  2. The resident may not cause the water to pond on the property; this is a violation of the Water Conservation Ordinance and Regulations. The water must be drained slowly so that no ponding occurs.
  3. The resident may not allow the water to run off the property. Water running onto a neighbor’s property or public right of way is a violation of the Water Conservation Ordinance and Regulations.
  4. It is not legal to drain a pool into storm drains, because this is allowing water to run off the property.

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