Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn. (The New York Times, 8/11/2013)
Excerpt: In hopes of enticing, or forcing, residents to abandon the scent of freshly cut grass, cities in this parched region have offered homeowners ever-increasing amounts to replace their lawns with drought-resistant plants; those who keep their grass face tough watering restrictions and fines for leaky sprinklers.
These efforts are drastically reshaping the landscape, with cactuses and succulents taking over where green grass once reigned.
Excerpt: Las Vegas presents a model of how quickly the landscape can change when a city moves aggressively. In 2003, after a drought wiped out the city’s water resources, the Las Vegas Valley Water District offered what officials believe was the first turf removal rebate program in the country.
Since then, the water district has paid out nearly $200 million to remove 165.6 million square feet of grass from residences and businesses.
In the winter, watering is allowed only one day a week
Not everyone is on board, of course.
As you might suspect, Nick doesn't mention the winter watering restriction.