Are You a Water 1-Percenter?

Read This Before Paving Over Your Landscape

We have a message for the “water one percenters” DWP asked to remake their landscapes: WAIT!!!

DWP’s letters to the top water consumers in Los Angeles were intended to alert you to your status… and shame you into action. What the letters did not do was pair water-use feedback with a clear and well-reasoned call to action for those who want to improve their performance. What a missed opportunity!

DWP would have done well to help you better understand the options. While one “water one percenter” interviewed by the L.A. Times hopes replacing his turf with a synthetic lawn and concrete will cut his water use by 75 percent, he could save 80 percent or more and gain a garden that stays vibrant and lush year round.

Replacing turf with synthetics, concrete or gravelscapes creates adverse long term consequences for our communities, particularly when the landscapes replaced are some of our largest.  By creating heat islands, gravelscape and synthetic landscapes increase energy costs, make landscapes less enjoyable, and raise the temperature of our cities.  Furthermore, by increasing runoff, concrete and plastic landscapes overburden our stormwater systems and send polluted water to ocean.

DWP could have informed L.A.’s top water users that three simple choices determine whether saving water will be a sacrifice or an enhancement to lifestyle and property value. An authentic Los Angeles landscape, one with up to date irrigation, native and climate compatible plants like IdealMow lawns, and permeable patio materials, does so much more than save water.

Smart landscapes can replenish L.A.’s groundwater table, protect river and ocean health, reduce our home energy use, attract birds and butterflies, save money, save maintenance time, and increase home value. Smart landscapes also support health – both physical and mental. These same landscapes will maintain a lush, colorful aesthetic year round and can complement any architectural style in L.A. from traditional or Spanish to more contemporary and modern designs.

We believe that in addition to shame and fines, Angelenos need “do’s” and how to’s” that move beyond just water savings.  We hope we can help you make decisions that enhance your way of life and that of our communities.

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