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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


Grass: America’s Largest Irrigated Crop

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: lawn, grass, water, water conservation, water pricing, landscaping, gardening, environment, Keith Goetzman,

Lawn sprinkler, Palm Springs, California

Kill Your Lawn,” urges the Sacramento News & Review in a story about cutting residential water use by ripping out turf and putting in climate-appropriate plants. (This call to action sounds familiar: See “A Call for an End to Primpy Lawns.”) With in its fourth year of drought and water supplies getting unsettlingly low, SNR writer Ted Cox asks why on earth property owners should be cultivating water-intensive lawns that go largely unused. The scene he paints could be any number of American cities:

Cox combines a tidy history of the lawn with some savvy reporting on the pros and cons of water conservation measures, pointing out along the way that lawn grass is American’s largest irrigated crop. David Zetland, an economist who blogs about water issues at Aguanomics, tells him that water pricing is the future:

Such “tiered” water pricing isn’t new, of course; many cities from Sarasota to San Antonio to Colorado Springs have instituted or are considering tiered water rates. Depending on where you live, they may be part of your future, too.

Source: Sacramento News & Review 

Image by Florian, licensed under Creative Commons.