After an arduous process of revision and consideration, the Water Resources Control Board of California is rolling out emergency regulations to meet Governor Jerry Brown’s mandatory 25% decrease in water usage.
Because in March the state was only able to lower consumption by 3.6%, leading regulators moved for immediately stricter regulations and more substantial decreases in usage. In fact, Governor Brown has threatened fines of up to $10,000 dollars for those cities or water districts that continue to waste water openly in defiance of his order and in the face of a major shortage.
This is because reservoirs throughout the state of California are at historic lows; this April Shasta and Oroville were at 73 percent and 67 percent of their respective historic averages.
And according to the Department of Water Resources, less than two inches of rain have fallen since early February on the eight Northern California stations that are tracked continuously.
Californians are staring down a major drought that’s left many of the state’s residents completely without indoor water, and every gallon we save helps to ensure that there’s water available for those that need it most. It’s our responsibility to save as much water at home as we’re able to.
Reducing Outdoor Water Use
Homeowners are faced with choices that impact the sustainability of their homes every day, from the building materials they choose to the household products they purchase. Few choices, however, can have as immediately and powerful of an impact as transitioning towards an artificial lawn.
Water Board scientist Max Gomberg told the LA Times that 80% of residential use during summer months is outdoors, representing one of the biggest opportunities for cutbacks. Because of this, many municipalities are moving to establish or increase existing turf removal rebates for those who are willing to forgo expensive, resource-intensive, non-native lawns in favor of more sustainable options like artificial grass.
Sustainability + Savings
While the versatility of artificial grass and its ease of maintenance are becoming more well known by homeowners, its often overlooked that high quality synthetic lawns are remarkably sustainable.
In fact, every square foot of natural grass replaced saves 37 gallons of water per year. This savings provides major incentive to homeowners who want the luxury of a lawn, but who are also concerned with conserving water and protecting our planet from drought.
Sustainability goes beyond conservation – there are other ways an artificial lawn improves our water situation. According to the EPA, 78 million households in the USA use pesticides, applying about 90 million pounds on lawns and gardens per year.
Runoff Health Hazards
The runoff from these treated areas contaminates groundwater and endangers local wildlife, making natural lawns even less sustainable in many areas. These chemicals are also often hazardous to humans, putting everyone who enjoys the affected areas at risk and in light of Governor Brown’s mandates it’s worth revisiting.
One of the best ways to conserve water and ensure you’re doing your part to improve the situation in California is an artificial lawn that consumes no water and introduces no pesticides into the water supply.
Save Money, Pitch In
In light of the health concerns surrounding pesticides in the runoff, Governor Brown’s mandate, and the Water Board’s impending enactment of new stricter regulations aimed at curtailing the usage of non-essential water, the choice is easier than ever. Especially in light of the fact that to many of those without water in California, watering a grass lawn is the same thing as pouring water (that could be used for drinking, bathing, or nourishing edible crops) down the drain.
Fortunately, with Purchase Green, you can take responsibility and help improve our water security while keeping a beautiful, comfortable lawn that can pay for itself in water savings in only three years.