Bernalillo County officials announced a water conservation project in collaboration with The University of New Mexico that breaks ground on campus next month.

UNM’s Physical Plant Department (PPD) will install an underground, 4,700 foot pipeline from the Lomas Chilled Water Plant to the UNM North Golf Course, a project spearheaded by Bernalillo County and the North Campus Neighborhood Association. This half a million dollar project, funded through state capital outlay funds, could potentially save up to 14 million gallons of water per year.

This pipeline will capture “blow-down” water from the Lomas Chilled Water Plant and move it to a pond at the UNM North Golf Course Urban Open Space, which will be used for irrigating the landscape. 

“Blow-down water is typically dumped down the drain, but with this project, we will be able to capture the water and recycle it, allowing us to pump less water for landscape irrigation,” said University Facilities Engineer Mark Manzutto.   

This is the second time UNM has partnered with Bernalillo County and the North Campus Neighborhood Association in this way to protect this inner city green space and conserve one of New Mexico’s most precious natural resources. 

“The University of New Mexico has been committed to sustainability for decades, and this project demonstrates our commitment not only to conserve our resources, but work in collaboration with the New Mexico community and its stakeholders,” said UNM Executive Vice President David Harris.

UNM officials joined Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, State Rep. Gail Chasey, and State Sen. Cisco McSorley for the official announcement of the project at the Lomas Chilled Water Plant on the UNM campus. This project is scheduled to be completed in the Summer of 2016.