UNM Sustainability: We waste water and you can’t do anything about it!


This morning I noticed that UNM was watering Johnson Field. It was 9am and the temperature outside was 39 degrees. The sprinklers pumped gallons of water continuously onto the field and the running path (also the road). Joggers were running through mud puddles and freezing cold mist. It was absolutely pointless.

It is January 10th and UNM is already wasting 1000’s of gallons of water on a field that is used for recreation. Apparently the pending water shortage in New Mexico is of very little concern to the University. Johnson Field will be home to tens of thousands of gallons of wasted water this year. That is just one small area of the University that wastes water. Sprinklers pump continuously all over campus all year long. I guess green grass is more important than conservation.

My father once told me that if you water grass too much it forces the grass to grow short roots. The grass then becomes dependent on daily watering. If the ground is allowed to dry, the grass will grow longer roots to search for water. I am not an expert, but this approach seems to make sense.

UNM constantly wins awards for sustainability. I applaud their desire to recycle and install solar panels. It is sweet that they have a farmers market every once in a while. But they need to take responsibility for the real dangers that face our desert population. The most pressing issue is water shortages. UNM should take the lead and conserve as much as possible. They could acknowledge that green grass in New Mexico is not as important as having water available for future generations.


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