Brought to you by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority.

The Water Smart Academy is created for landscape professionals looking to broaden their understanding of landscape management and irrigation systems. The free classes offer the latest in landscape irrigation best management practices (BMPs) to assure healthy, sustainable, and functional landscapes while avoiding water waste.

Become a Water Smart Contractor!

Companies that complete eight hours of training, demonstrate that they are register contractors, and agree to follow water smart landscape irrigation principles are eligible for the certification.  Water Smart Contractors will receive branding materials and be listed in our website(s).

Choose the class you want for your team and complete the interest form below to schedule. For questions about the Academy contact Carlos Bustos at call (505) 933-1254


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Classes available:

Landscaping codes and fundamentals of irrigation system design, installation and maintenance

(8 credit hours) Trainer: Jim Corcoran

This class provides an update on current landscaping regulations, standards, and applicable codes as well as opportunities to advance professionally. The class covers fundamental sprinkler and drip irrigation design considerations and installation techniques; soil classification and basic soil properties; proper criteria to consider when designing turf, tree & shrub locations; identifying different plant species; the fundamentals of water smart landscapes; and key elements of the Water Authority’s water waste ordinance and how it applies to landscape professionals.

Advanced irrigation system design, installation and maintenance techniques

(8 credit hours) Trainer: Jim Corcoran

Students will gain advanced knowledge on a sprinkler and drip irrigation systems to include designing for the future; two-wire systems; backflow preventer applications; piping options; drip system components and their purpose; soil chemical interactions, pH, and salts; and turf, tree and shrub selection criteria. The class also covers water-smart maintenance practices including how to manage water efficiently using ET, sprinkler precipitation rates, water infiltration rates, and horticultural practices that can reduce water run-off; advanced irrigation system troubleshooting techniques; watering strategies for different plant maturity levels; plant pruning strategies to save water and improve plant health.

Drainage and Use of Storm Water

(1.5 credit hour) Trainer: Jan Loving

Smart watering is more than installing and maintaining an irrigation system.   Drainage, which involves harvesting, moving and using storm water is an integral part of landscape and irrigation management.  In this class we will discuss methods to prevent or remediate damage due to storm water as well as well as beneficial use of that same water.   Whether your customers are Single or Multi-Family Residential, Commercial, or Municipal, the same principals apply.

PVC Pipe, Fittings and Valves – Proper Use, Installation & Trouble Shooting

(1.5 credit hour) Trainer: Jan Loving

Installing PVC Pipe, Fittings and Valves is like painting, everyone thinks they can do it.  After all, how hard could it be.  Like most things, there is a right way to solvent weld, install threaded connections and repair PVC for trouble free, long lasting irrigation systems.   We will also discuss common problems and ways to avoid them.

Conducting a Landscape Irrigation Audit

(4 non-credit hours) Trainer: Richard Chapman

Learn how to perform fields test on irrigation systems to ensure efficiency and conserve water. This class will teach students various testing strategies for checking pressure, flow rates and conducting a water application distribution test. An efficient irrigation system performance could decrease water use and water bills for managed properties, improve landscape health and appearance, reduce water runoff to avoid water waste.

Classes sponsors:

  • State of NM Regulation & Industry Division (CID)
  • Irrigation Association
  • New Mexico American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA)

 Meet the Academy trainers:

Jim Corcoran: A New Mexico native with 40 years of grounds management experience at UNM, APS, Sandia Laboratories, and as a commercial landscape maintenance contractor, plus 28 years of experience in landscape and irrigation training. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in plant science and holds an MS6 Irrigation License. He is a Certified Backflow Prevention Technician and 3A & 3B Pest Management Consultant. Previously certified by the Irrigation Association for Landscape Irrigation Water Audits, he is also past President of the New Mexico Irrigation Association.

Richard Chapman: Owner-manager of Smart Use, LLC, a water conservation consulting services company, which has served the City and the Water Authority since 1999.  His team has conducted more than 60,000 water audits in Albuquerque and another 10,000 audits in cities and sites in Arizona, Colorado, California, Wisconsin, and Washington State.

Jan Loving: President of Loving & Associates, a manufacturer’s representative for irrigation, plumbing, and industrial products in New Mexico, El Paso, and southwest Colorado and a  training instructor for storm water drainage and PVC pipe valve and fittings for more than 30 years for contractors, architects, wholesalers, and municipalities.    BA from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Si está interesado en la designación como Contratista de Riego Inteligente “Water Smart Contractor” por favor comunicarse con Carlos A. Bustos al 505-933-1254 o via  Estas compañías recibirán materiales con nuestro logo y aparecerán en comunicados de la Autoridad del Agua.