In drought areas, the big problem is grass – lawns, golf courses, parks

Xeriscaping. Low water usage doesn't mean barren or drab.
Xeriscaping. Low water usage doesn’t mean barren or drab.

In Las Vegas, as well as in other drought areas, lawns and grass use 70% of the water. Grass in semi-arid areas and deserts can no longer be tolerated. There are too many people and not enough water. Xeriscaping creates attractive landscaping in homes and parks and conserves water use. Grass is not needed. Neither are golf courses in deserts. They just aren’t.

The real water hog is not people, many say, but grass: About 70% of Las Vegas water goes to lawns, public parks and golf courses. A rebate program has already ripped out 168 million square feet of grass.

Las Vegas, although it still uses more water per capita than other cities, is becoming a model for water conservation. However, it charges too little for water. Rates, especially for piggish users, need to be expensive enough to be painful.

Interestingly, everyone’s favorite water villain, the Strip with its lavish fountains, uses 3% of the water and produces 70% of the economy. And the fountain water is recycled.

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