Smart Landscaping vs. Dramatic Water Policy Changes
Individual drought tolerant landscaping choices can save the world, or at least fix problems from balancing city budgets to battling surfer sicknesses. We’ve shared plenty of information about the benefits and how-tos of sustainable landscaping in Los Angeles, yet the potential downside of inaction may seem ambiguous.
KPCC and the Milken Institute recently brought together an all-star panel of water experts to discuss the Future of Water in Southern California. The panel examined the impact of the drought on California and debated the best strategies to ensure Southern California’s continued access to water. The incredible collective impact of our individual smart landscaping choices hit home as each expert was asked the #1 solution for correcting the water shortage in Southern California.
The panelists’ alternatives to smart landscaping included:
Re-issuing California water rights: We issue rights for more water than we actually receive each year. Australia dramatically changed its water use by ripping up existing water rights and reissuing them to suit today’s needs.
Allowing direct, potable reuse: After used water is cleaned, it is sent back into the ocean or the ground. Before it can be used as potable water, it must be retreated. Allowing treated water to be provided directly following treatment would increase the availability of potable water.
Build more water storage: Southern California needs to be able to deliver to “peak demand plus fire” at all times while receiving variable levels of rain. More water storage will take pressure off needs for immediate delivery.
According to KPCC, LA area residents have replaced 5 million square feet of lawn, or 10 percent of the irrigated land in Los Angeles. Once again we want to thank FormLA Landscaping clients and other Southern California residents making smart, drought-tolerant landscaping choices that protect our health, habitat and future!
Sources and More Information
- Despite California’s Drought, Taps Still Running in LA County, NPR, July 2014
- Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn. New York Times, August 2014
- Theodore Payne Foundation Classes and Fall Sale. KTLA. September 2014
- IdealMow Lawn Alternatives: Lawns that use 60-70 percent less water!
- Wet-to-Dry Exchange: Swap thirsty plants with drought tolerant alternatives