ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Monday marks the beginning of daytime watering restrictions in Bernalillo County.
Those who use sprinkler irrigation systems between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. will be subject to fines.
Katherine Yuhas of the Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority says only about half of the water reaches the ground when residents water during the hottest and windiest part of the day. The other half evaporates.
Outdoor irrigation accounts for 40 percent of the water authority’s overall use.
The fines now are doubled because the service area is under a drought watch. They range from $40 for the first violation to $4,000 for the ninth violation and beyond.
The restrictions are in effect through October.
Yuhas says the water authority will have more people patrolling the Albuquerque area this year looking for violators.