Sixty percent of California is in “exceptional drought” and unfortunately, it does not appear that there is a high chance of that condition being alleviated this winter.

Kevin Werner, the western regional climate services director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, says, “groundwater has been significantly, and in many cases, severely depleted and that fact is unlikely to change even if we get a normal rainfall year.”

What’s kept some of the pain at bay so far has been the increasing use of groundwater in the state, especially among farmers. But like many of the surface water supplies that have dried up, groundwater supplies are in danger of disappearing.

“Groundwater is layered in clay and sandstone. Removing the water, he said, not only depletes the resource but often creates dangerous conditions of the earth sinking in on itself, which has already happened in parts of the state. Once that subsidence (collapse) happens, it’s lost forever and rainfall won’t replace it,” said Doug Carlson, information officer at the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).

So with all of the unsettling news, what can residents of California do to help with conserving water? The answer is simple – consider swapping out your natural lawn with artificial grass. Landscaping and lawn maintenance are the top wasters of water in the Golden State and can be all but eliminated with the installation of artificial grass.

Maintaining natural grass is a massive water drain, requiring thousands of gallons of water to survive annually. In California, more than 50 percent of residential water use occurs outdoors. This is why some Southern California residents are taking advantage of the opportunity to beautify their lawns and save money at the same time.

Currently, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is offering residents turf removal rebates starting at $2.00 per square foot. And with artificial grass options starting at $1.58 per square foot, some SoCal residents are actually making money by switching out to a more drought-friendly lawn option.

“I mean, can you imagine a drought like this going over the next 10 years?” he asked. “I think you’re going to see a lot more than breweries leaving this area. You’re going to see your major agriculture areas picking up and going somewhere else,” said Bear Republic Brewing CEO Richard Norgrove.

And while the focus of this post has been around California’s drought, it is important to remember that there is severe drought happening in many places all over the Earth due to climate change. Sao Paulo, home to 20 million people, will run out of water next month unless reserves are tapped now.

If you’re interested in learning more about installing artificial grass, be sure to download the free DIY Easy Install Guide which covers the entire process in detail, step-by-step.