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NMSU researchers to install subsurface irrigation system at residence of UNM president

ALBUQUERQUE – A collaboration between New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and the University of New Mexico Facilities Management Department will demonstrate the efficiency of subsurface drip irrigation while watering the grass at the UNM president’s residence.

Two men working in dirt
Bernd Leinauer, NMSU Extension turf specialist, attaches two subsurface drip irrigation lines as Matteo Serena, NMSU research assistant professor, assists. They will be conducting a workshop in Albuquerque on Thursday, June 13, while installing a similar system at the University of New Mexico president’s residence. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

New Mexico State University professor and Extension turfgrass specialist Bernd Leinauer and research assistant professors Elena Sevostianova and Matteo Serena will hold a workshop on subsurface drip irrigation on Thursday, June 13, at the president’s residence in Albuquerque.

The objective of the workshop is to inform participants about subsurface drip irrigation and how to install the efficient and water-saving alternative to sprinkler systems.

“Subsurface drip irrigation is currently the most efficient way to irrigate the landscape, including flower beds and other areas, such as vegetable gardens,” Leinauer said. “Water distribution is not affected by wind or evaporation and there is no overspray onto the sidewalk. For all those reasons, you can conserve between 30-50 percent of the amount of water used in sprinkler systems. That is why this type of irrigation needs to be promoted and used more.”

In using the UNM president’s residence on the UNM campus and through the cooperation of NMSU’s Extension Service with UNM’s Facilities Management Department, Leinauer hopes to build bridges and set the groundwork for future collaborative efforts.

“Some homeowners, contractors and irrigators are opposed to this technology because they have never seen it and they are unaware of the fact that it works just fine also in turf areas,” Leinauer said. “Others don’t see a sprinkler spraying water so they don’t think the system is working properly. We want to address those concerns at this workshop. Attendees will be able to see how we plan such a system and put it in the ground and hopefully this will take away the intimidation.”

The workshop is being organized by Sara Moran, NMSU’s Extension horticulture agent in Bernalillo County, in cooperation with Cody Alvstad and Rich Schorr from UNM’s Facilities Management Department.

The hands-on workshop will begin at 8:30 a.m. and run until noon. Space is limited to 15 people so attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are asked to bring water and whatever outdoor gear they think is necessary for the day.

To register for this workshop call Moran at the Bernalillo County Cooperative Extension office at 505-243-1386.