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.


Lunch provided! Most classes are limited to 20 participants.
CEU’s for NMASLA and NM CID licenses

Location: 6000 Alexander Blvd. 87107

Get Certified! Choose any of these sections to get your team certified as a Water Smart Contractor

Qualified Water Efficient Landscape (QWEL) certification
Trainer: Doug Pushard (TWO DAY SERIES)

The Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) professional certification provides landscape professionals with over 20 hours of education on local water supply, sustainable landscaping, soils, landscape water budgets, irrigation system components and maintenance, and irrigation system audits, and scheduling and controller programming.

Innovative Classes! Take your knowledge to the next level

PVC Irrigation Systems – troubleshooting and adapting to low flow water use
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.

Landscape Maintenance for Stormwater Harvesting features
Trainer: Mario Nuño-Whelan

Learn the proper methods to maintain permeable pavers/pavement/concrete; stormwater conveyance structures such as stormwater bump outs, bioswales, trenches, and basins; plant maintenance in the different inundation zones; and mulch maintenance. Resources produced by the Arid LID Coalition such as the Maintenance Manual which includes maintenance checklists and frequency, as well as the video series that illustrates how to properly maintain these features.

Arboriculture for Non-Arborists
Trainer: Joran Viers

Presented in two sections; the first focuses on tree anatomy and physiology, looking at how trees are put together and how they function.  We look at roots, stems, and leaves; how they do what they need to do, how they grow, and how environment influences those things.

The second section focuses on practice – what we do to/with trees, from planting to pruning, how the realities of tree growth and function inform how we manage them in our landscapes.

Symptoms and Signs: Diagnosing Tree Distress
Trainer: Joran Viers

Presented in one session.  We focus on understanding how stress impacts trees and how they show that stress, with a visual tour through many locally common tree stressors and their symptoms and signs, with some discussion about prevention and control options.  This presentation provides 4 NMDA Pesticide Applicator CEU credits.

Jardineria Sostenible y Riego Eficiente
Trainer: Carlos Bustos

Jardineros profesionales serán educados en lo último en prácticas en jardinería (paisajismo/horticultura) y sistemas de riego. Los participantes recibirán capacitación para mantenimiento de jardinería funcional y adaptable al clima y sistemas de riego eficientes. Esta clase provee información sobre la fuente de agua de Albuquerque, incentivos disponibles e información sobre distintas certificaciones para avanzar su profesión.

Please fill out the form fields below to register for a class.

Registrations must be received by 10:00 am the day before your class in order to secure class materials and food orders.


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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 stormwater 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.

Doug Pushard: Doug holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing and an MBA with a concentration in finance and computer science. He is a lifetime American Rainwater Catchment System Association (ARCSA) member and an Accredited Professional and an ex-Board member of ARCSA. He is a prolific writer and appeared in The New York Times, Water Efficiency Magazine, Home Power, Taos News, and Water News among others, and has a regular monthly column in the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is co-author of two water studies that have been widely published: Rainwater Harvesting Industry Market Size and Trends and First-Ever Long-Term Water Conservation Rebate Study. Doug is an EPA WaterSense Partner with Certification in Irrigation Auditing. He is an active member of the City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Committee. He is currently a member of the International Code Committee (ICC) working group that is drafting the ICC Rainwater Harvesting Building Codes. Doug is also a certified Permaculture Designer. Doug designs and consults on rainwater and water reuse systems locally and around the country. Doug and his partner, Gretchen, are active hikers, skiers, and volunteers in New Mexico.

Mario Nuño-Whelan: Mario grew up in Albuquerque and works as a landscape designer for MRWM Landscape Architects. Prior to earning a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Arizona in the spring of 2020, he worked on landscape crews for two years, conducting maintenance and installing residential landscapes for design-build companies in Albuquerque. He’s passionate about stormwater harvesting and creating maintainable, high desert-appropriate landscapes that serve multiple functions.

Joran Viers: is a life-long student of nature and the natural sciences.  Having grown up in various remote locales where plants and animals were always present, he developed a great appreciation for the diversity of life on this planet.  Viers considers himself a servant of, and steward to, the planet, and he approaches his work through the broad lenses of Ecology.  This approach, bolstered with considerable detailed biological knowledge, allows Joran to provide his clients with thoughtful, broadly considered advice aimed at improving plant health through improving site health.

Viers is trained in the biological sciences, with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of New Mexico (summa cum laude) and a Masters degree in Botany from the University of Florida.  Following his university studies, Joran worked in public service for many years.  Initially he worked for the State of New Mexico as the Executive Director of the New Mexico Organic Commodity Commission, followed by a decade with New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service, where he was the County Horticulture Agent until he took the position of City Forester with City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department.  After a number of years, Viers left the city to enter private practice full time.  He is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist, and holds ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.  Viers is a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, and maintains a NMDA Commercial Pesticide Applicator’slicense.

Joran is recognized throughout the local area and across New Mexico for his technical expertise and ability to diagnose complex horticultural situations, his ability to communicate to a wide variety of audiences at their technical comfort level, and his excellent educational abilities

When not working, Joran can often be found in his own garden and will most likely be barefoot.  He also enjoys river running, camping, playing music with friends and hanging out with his kids and cats.