Californians are being required to replace grass and use decorative rock to save thousands of gallons of water
California leads the United States in many things, population, economy, entertainment, and also environmental movements.
In last week’s article we touched on the fact that across the United States, American homes consume about 9 billion gallons of water a day for their landscaping, according to the EPA:
“Nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day.”
California’s answer to this problem is not only logical but it is highly effective, with very few drawbacks.
Let’s dive in and take a look at how this all plays out.
What are the details?
Back in July 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown revised the state’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance.
What are the effects? Here are some specifics:
“limit “high water use” landscape elements, including pools and most grass, to about 25 percent of a homeowner’s landscape area.”
And according to GraniteRock.com:
“The ordinance applies to all new homes with more than 500 square feet of landscaped area and remodeled landscape projects with more than 2,500 square feet requiring a building or landscape permit.”
Fortunately, this may not effect ALL Californians. It really depends on what your setup is for your front & backyard. The good news is, you still can keep at least SOME of your lawn, and it is not a 100% total eradication of all your grass!
On the other hand, this move does meet opposition by many property owners (both commercial and residential), who prize their green lawns and are not so ready to relinquish their lush grass for dry stone.
What are the benefits of this new move?
- Landscape rocks allow you to ‘set it and forget it’, requiring minimal maintenance, limited to picking up the occasional stray twig or leaf that might fall into the cracks
- You don’t have to water rocks
- You don’t have to rake, de-thatch, nor fertilize rocks
- You don’t have to spend your time mowing your ‘rock lawn’
- You won’t have to hire out a landscaping company to mow your lawn
- You and your neighbors will be able to sleep in peace and not be disturbed by the infamous ‘lawn mower & leaf blower’ symphony that we are all so used to
- Your water consumption will be drastically cut, and if your municipality makes you pay for water, then your water bill will be lessened significantly
- Last and NOT least, you’ll be helping the environment!
How do I make the transition?
The folks at the California Department of Water Resources have put together an excellent guide to help the home-owner make this transition:
They write: “About half of the water we use at home is spent outdoors on landscaping. Californians have made great strides to improve indoor water efficiency; however, outdoor water efficiency achieves much more water savings. Follow this step-by-step guide to convert your thirsty lawn into 1 of 4 beautiful gardens: rain-wise, pollinator, edible, or succulent.”
California is a desert, it just makes sense to stop forcing it into something it isn’t, at the expense of natural resources that could be better used elsewhere. We can help conserve natural resources now by making the swapping sod with stone.