The Too-Thirsty Lawn: What Can be Done?

lawndesert.jpgAn article in today’s SFGate talks about the 11 Million more people coming to California in coming years and the inevitable strain this will put on water use. One of the main culprits will be the “traditional” green lawn which is especially popular in the hotter, drier, central valley – which has a little more space and is therefore the site of most of the growth.
People in Arizona have finally begun to accept that lawns are rather ridiculous in their part of the world and indeed, entirely new fashions of landscaping have resulted that are generally much more appropriate. California clearly needs to learn the same lesson. The article points out that legislation is currently pending that will put various restrictions on residential lawns and force additional metering. Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper to just raise the price of water? At the same time the government could be providing people with information about other ways to landscape, as well as ways to store rainwater and greywater for use on lawns and gardens instead of coming straight from the tap.
Eventually, this type of thinking will enter the mainstream and you’ll have people boasting about their rainwater collection systems instead of the lushness of their lawns, and no one will be any poorer.

Nick Aster is a new media architect and the founder of has since grown to become one of the web's leading sources of news and ideas on how business can be used to make the world a better place.

Prior to TriplePundit Nick worked for Mother Jones magazine, successfully re-launching the magazine's online presence. He worked for, managing the technical side of the publication for 3 years and has also been an active consultant for individuals and companies entering the world of micro-publishing. He earned his stripes working for Gawker Media and Moreover Technologies in the early days of blogging.

Nick holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and graduated with a BA in History from Washington University in St. Louis.