In 2014, the Sunport revised and updated the Aviation Department’s Water Conservation Plan which was implemented in 2004. The 2014 “Water Use Report and Conservation Plan Update” (Plan) is an effective and critical component of reducing water use to ensure a future water supply for the City of Albuquerque. The Plan discusses conservation measure already taken by the Aviation Department and provides additional water saving recommendations for the future.
Sunport Blvd. landscaping was installed using low-water use plant materials (xeric). The median portion of the landscape was designed for the efficient capture of storm water by creating swales in terrain eliminating run off from the area.
This design was recognized and received an award for water conservation. The sloped areas north and south of the roadway are supporting the Buffalo and Blue Gramma grass. These grasses are quite drought tolerant and require much less maintenance (mowing, fertilizing, etc.) than the cool season turf varieties commonly used. All of the newer installations of landscape included new installation of irrigation systems. The system programming is now controlled by a central computer system allowing much better and more efficient use of water. Another aspect of the diversity of the landscape is the vast inventory of trees. The landscape maintenance crews have been aggressively increasing the number of trees throughout the landscape while maintaining the existing inventory. These trees are a vital element in our sustainability goals. Trees perform a multitude of functions including carbon sequestration, converting CO2 to oxygen, storm water mitigation, erosion control, natural cooling and the reduction of VOC emitted by automobiles to name a few.
In 2010, a new water line originating from the waste treatment plant through the Sunport and points beyond was installed to supply non-potable treated re-use water for irrigating the landscape at the Sunport. The total irrigated area at the Sunport is approximately 70 acres. The Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority (ABCWUA) developed an annual irrigation water budget of 56,300,000 gallons per year in 2010. The final conversion from potable to non-potable water entails the installation of booster pumps and the associated infrastructure. Construction and installation of these pumps and infrastructure will begin in October 2019 with an anticipated completion date of March 2020.