Conservationists Taking Aim at Water Usage

Where water is scarce, lawns are under attack.

In Florida, Nevada, and Texas, residents in some communities are under pressure to reduce the amount of lawn in their yards. By the end of the year, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to expand its WaterSense conservation program, which certifies new homes that use less water, including those that limit the amount of turfgrass the home has. The lawn and garden industry is opposed to the idea, calling the EPA plan “arbitrary” and “not supported by science.”

“Without grass, a home would be bland, and if a home is bland, its value drops,” says Greg Kullman, resident and former president of Silverthorn, a golf-course community in Hernando County, Fla., where 90 percent of the area is covered by grass.

Deidre Irwin, water conservation coordinator for the St. Johns Water Management District in Florida, supports his position. “Our agency has a strong position that it isn’t turfgrass that wastes water but the irrigation and the wrong species in the wrong place,” Irwin says.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Gwendolyn Bounds