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Artificial Turf: L.A. and Las Vegas switching to synthetic grass

describe the image“Since 2009, the city of Los Angeles has paid $1.4 million to homeowners willing to rip out their front lawns and plant less thirsty landscaping.” So says Ian Lovett in his August 11 article in The New York Times entitled, “Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn.” But, he continues, “At least the lawns are still legal here. Grass front yards are banned at new developments in Las Vegas, where even the grass medians on the Strip have been replaced with synthetic turf.”

Those cities are not alone in the measures they’re taking to address dwindling water supplies. Chronic water shortages in many parts of the country – as well as increasing awareness of the excessive amounts of water it wastes to maintain a lush, green lawn – are leading to record numbers of turf removal rebate programs, strictly enforced watering restrictions with hefty fines for violations, and homeowners who are willing to give alternate solutions a try.

The LA Department of Water and Power estimates that its lawn rebate program has removed more than one million square feet of residential grass since 2009, which will save about 47 million gallons of water each year. Since 2003, Las Vegas Valley Water District has removed 165.6 million square feet of grass from businesses and residences, saving 9.2 billion gallons of water in the past decade. The grass may be faux but the savings are absolutely real.

Free Guide: The Hidden Costs of Natural Grass

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