ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sunday was a perfect day for gardening.
I filled 15 big trash bags with leaves and trimmings. I pruned roses, pulled weeds and raked out my lawn. All the while I wondered, in light of our long drought that is probably not a drought at all but a new normal brought on by our changing climate, how much longer I can keep my lawn. More to the point, what is Albuquerque’s future if our water supply is as precarious as it seems to be?
I used to walk a few desks from mine when I had water questions and talk with John Fleck, who covered water issues for the Journal for years. Fleck got a book contract and an appointment to teach at the University of New Mexico, so this time I went to his office in the economics department. He invited Bruce Thomson, a UNM civil engineering research professor, to join us.
Their short answer: We will muddle through. In fact, we are already muddling through. There are fewer lawns in Albuquerque and more dead trees, Thomson said, and there are beautiful, vibrant xeriscaped neighborhoods all over the city.