Category Archives: Lawn Fallowing

California’s Water Conservation Regulations and the Law of Unintended Consequences Part 3—Environmental Impacts

Save-Our-TreesOn February 2nd, the California State Water Resources Control Board revised and extended the mandatory urban water conservation regulations through October. While the newly-adopted revisions make marginal changes on some issues of fairness, which will be covered in a later post, environmental impacts remain.

The environmental impacts of the mandatory conservation regulations are tied to residential landscaping—or more specifically, the absence or reduction of watering that occurs when residents allow lawns to go brown or replace them altogether.

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Lawn Fallowing versus Desalination

Outdoor residential water use is increasingly becoming a target for urban water conservation.  As western municipalities face more restricted water supplies, water providers are paying residents to take out their lawns permanently. Current programs in Southern Nevada and Los Angeles are yielding water conservation at a cost of $65,000/AF to $87,000/AF. Continue reading