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LA fixes water shortage by removing people’s lawns

December 10, 2012

City fixes water shortage by removing lawns
Natural Resource News Note:

Los Angeles is removing residents’ lawns and installing water-efficient gardens in an attempt to conserve water. At the residents’ request, the city will send a crew to dig up the grass and replace it with mulch and native CA plants—all at no cost to the homeowners. The pilot program is funded by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which pays about $500 for each relandscaped yard.

LA residents Tim and Kelley Reischauer had their lawn removed. “The kids were kind of bummed,” Mr. Reischauer told the Wall Street Journal. But “most of the neighbors are very complimentary.”

LA’s program is one of several aimed at changing people’s ideas about how a front yard should look. Lush green lawns are hard for many people to part with. Some homeowners associations have strict landscaping requirements that contribute to the problem.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority has banned grass lawns entirely. In San Antonio, Texas, the watering restrictions are aggressively enforced by “water police.”

Nationwide, landscape watering accounts for about 57% of all residential water use. According to a report prepared by ConSol, CA has the 15th highest per capita public water consumption in the country. A 2009 state law requires all water suppliers to reduce water consumption per capita 20% by 2020.

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