Friday, March 31st, 2017
As the annual watering restriction schedule goes into effect today, the local water authority is re-launching its “treebate” program, which allows up to $100 credit on a residential water bill for people planting desert-friendly trees or caring for the trees already on their property.
The rebate program aims to boost the city’s tree population and keep its current trees, many of them near the end of their lives, in healthy shape.
“One of the best things you can do for your community is plant a tree,” said Carlos Bustos, conservation program manager for the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority. “Plant a tree that’s right for the area, a tree that will thrive … and a tree that will not use a lot of water.”
Any tree that isn’t one of the water guzzlers listed in the authority’s xeriscape guide can earn the rebate, but there are 20 really smart tree picks, the authority says.
The authority has consolidated a list of the top 20 trees proven to thrive in the area, and they are partnering with local garden centers, including big box stores, to help label these 20 trees that qualify for the rebate. The trees will be marked with special tags or a placard.
A residential water customer who purchases a tree or pays for tree maintenance can submit receipts and an application, available at the authority’s website, to receive up to 25 percent of each purchase for a maximum annual “treebate” of $100 credit on a water bill. Commercial water customers can earn up to a $500 “treebate.”
The “treebate” joins other water-saving measures customers can employ to earn rebates on water bills, including xeriscaping yards, and using special types of irrigation or rainwater harvesting.
The annual Water by the Numbers watering restrictions schedule goes into effect today . It calls for watering outside only two days per week in April and May, three days per week in the summer and then reduced again in the fall, and prohibited between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. until Oct. 31.