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Pima Gets Tough on Turf

Pima County, Ariz. has recently banned ornamental turf in an effort to make careful water-management choices a part of their growing community.

Arizona is a dry state, and in the midst of an 11-year drought, the strategies are becoming more aggressive in order to prevent future problems.

Pima County decided about a year ago to update its water-use laws and assigned Kathleen Chavez, Pima County’s water policy manager and a group of public and private interests to consider a range of ideas and return with recommendations. The new rules in the county will apply to slightly more than one-third of the county’s population, or only the unincorporated areas.

The water rules in Pima County, Ariz. have led to the banning of ornamental turf. The belief is that lawns add value as parks or playgrounds, but as for decoration, they are wasteful.

Rather than try and limit the amount water a property owner can use, they established limited use into zoning laws, restricting grass to smaller areas, reducing the size of allowable water features and requiring rain sensors on irrigation timers.

“Part of it is promoting the ethic that we’re a water-conscious community,” said Chavez. “People also feel frustrated that they’re being asked to conserve water but there’s all this growth going on. So we’re trying to put rules on new construction that save water.”

Source: The Arizona Republic

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December 6, 2019, 1:54 pm PDT

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