For most of us water has always been something that we never really about. We use it for drinking, washing everything from ourselves to our cars and keeping our nice green lawns from fading into various shades of brown. The problem is that water is slowly becoming a commodity that we have to be concerned with how we are using it, and wasting it.
In Nevada the Southern Nevada Water Authority faced with drought conditions saw Las Vegas remove more than 125 million square feet of grass as part of a move to get residents to change to what is being called drought resistant landscaping. This move saved almost 7 billion gallons of water a year which is just about one-tenth of Southern Nevada’s annual water supply.
Some cities in California seeing the large savings of water in Nevada have decided on their own drought resistant landscaping plans. In Los Angeles a new incentive program from the Department of Water and Power is encouraging it customers to cut back on water usage by offering to pay them to remove their lawns.
The agency won’t be buying dead lawn, warns DWP spokeswoman Jane Galbraith. If you are lucky enough to live where the lawn is already dead, the water company takes the view that nature has already done the right thing for you.
But if you have 200 to 2,000 square feet of lawn that is doing little more than consuming water, then the DWP is willing to pay you to get rid of it. That includes the forlorn strip of lawn between the sidewalk and curb known as the “parkway.”
Opening the DWP program to parkways makes good sense because watering with sprinklers is next to impossible there without creating runoff. Under the new drought ordinances, creating runoff is now illegal.
So instead of waiting for an inevitable ticket, homeowners can receive a rebate. The hardship is minimal: Cap the sprinklers, dig out the lawn and replace it with something smarter.
Source: LA Times :: The Dry Garden: L.A. offers rebate for ripping out your lawn
In San Diego people are being encouraged to do the same thing and to help them along the city is implementing a tiered rate for water usage.
Some water agencies in San Diego County are introducing tiered rates. The more water you use, the more you’ll pay.
Bill Rose with the San Diego County Water Authority says it’s one way to encourage conservation.
“Government needs to step up and the retail water agencies need to step up with a pricing plan or some other measures, regulatory as an example, to enforce with customers that they need to change their water habits,” Rose says.
He says a “cash for grass” program could be another incentive.
“It’s possible and we are looking at those,” Rose says. “We’ve offered a landscape grant program in the past. We’ll continue to look at that to see its effectiveness along with all of our other conservation programs.”
Source: KPBS.org :: Yanking Out Lawns Saves Water and Money
Now why couldn’t this sort of thing happened when I was a kid having to mow a three quarter acre front lawn.
picture courtesy of KPBS.org