It is estimated that in the state of California, the amount of water used for natural grass lawns accounts for almost seven percent of the state's total usage. When it is broken down to family units, almost 51% of water usage by a family is attributed to lawn maintenance. If the majority of homeowners converted their natural grass lawn to artificial turf, it would reduce the state's total water usage by almost 25%. Why all of the figures? Because the cost of water is rising exponentially due to the severe drought conditions. No matter where you live in the United States, if drought conditions are present, water costs will be rising. If the conditions persist, restrictions will be put in place that limits the amount of water that can be used for “unnecessary” activities. This includes lawn maintenance.
Volume of Water
The volume of water that is needed to support an 800 square foot lawn is well over 150,000 gallons or more every year, depending on the heat and humidity that accompanies the otherwise dry weather. Even annual and perennial flowers can use massive amounts of water in drought conditions. Reseeding lawns with native grass species or those that are extremely drought tolerant will also help to reduce the amount of water needed to maintain the lawn and keep it looking its best.
The Financial Cost of Water
The monetary cost for the amount of water used by an average family of three in the state of California ranges from $2 to $3 per unit for a three bedroom, two bath home with a large lawn. Most homes of this size use anywhere from 24 to 40 units of water each month. With the conversion of a natural grass lawn to an artificial grass lawn, the amount of water used to maintain the area drops to practically zero gallons.
The Environmental Cost
On top of the financial costs of water usage in an area where drought conditions are common, the environmental ramifications can be far more reaching than just financial considerations. With the majority of water being used for agricultural purposes many people dispute the need to cut back on residential usage. The fact is, that if both agricultural and residential usage is not closely monitored, the aquifers and watersheds throughout the area, will eventually begin to dry up. The installation of artificial turf can eliminate many other environmental concerns over and above the reduction of water. The amount of chemicals and toxins released into the environment will also be diminished.
Reducing the Risk of Fines
One of the most effective ways that the state of California has found to help control water usage is the implementation of fines levied against homeowners and residents who misuse water. Law enforcement officers are allowed to issue tickets to anyone who they see using water outside of the normal scope of daily living activities. Artificial grass requires no water usage, except for an occasional rinsing over areas where pets frequently do their business. Because there is very little maintenance required, in any form, artificial turf is a viable option for homeowners who live in areas that constantly face drought restrictions.
Converting a natural grass lawn to one that is made of artificial grass can be a major investment. The price of the lawn may seem overwhelming at first, but when the cost of the artificial grass is divided up over the number of years the turf will remain in place, it is much more affordable. Along with the cost of lawn care, the amount of money saved on the household water bill will help to contribute to the overall investment.