NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

NMSU to host subsurface irrigation workshop in Valencia County

LOS LUNAS ? Having a water-conserving landscape doesn?t necessarily mean you can?t include grass.

New Mexico State University turfgrass specialist Bernd Leinauer has developed a subsurface drip irrigation system that reduces water usage by watering grass at its roots.

?Subsurface drip irrigation can reduce water used for irrigation by 20 to 30 percent,? Leinauer said. ?This type of system waters right at the roots, which minimizes water loss to overhead evaporation, wind and overspray.?

Valencia County Cooperative Extension Service will host a hands-on workshop Saturday, June 13. Participants will help install a subsurface drip irrigation system during the workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

?In the future, there will only be more pressure to save water,? said Newt McCarty, Valencia County Extension agricultural agent. ?Subsurface drip for lawns can be part of the solution.?

A subsurface drip irrigation system was installed at the Rio Ranch High School soccer field six years ago.

?Rio Rancho was the first large-scale demonstration of this type of system,? Leinauer said. ?It has been very successful.?

The soccer complex is watered through a 1-foot-by-1-foot grid of irrigation lines buried below the field's surface. The irrigation lines have pressure-compensating emitters that release one liter, ? or four-tenths of a gallon of water ? per hour, once the irrigation system has 15 pounds per square inch of water pressure in the line.

For more information, contact McCarty at jnewton@nmsu.edu or 505-565-3002. Participants are asked to RSVP by June 10. The workshop is co-sponsored by Toro Company.