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Turf Battles Continue

As many cities put programs in place to pay people for removing their lawns, proponents say that such programs are vital while opponents counter that lawns provide needed oxygen, cool the air, prevent erosion and storm water runoff and are family-friendly.

Municipalities are paying citizens to remove turf. One town in Texas banned artificial grass in areas that can be viewed from the street. Las Vegas banned front yard lawns at new developments. Watering restrictions are nationwide. In California, they are painting their grass. Proponents and opponents on both sides argue vociferously. It is somewhat ironic that the cause of the clamor is usually thought of as being pastoral.

The green industry is caught in the middle and keeping score is sometimes difficult so here is an update on some of the latest developments.

In spite of being in a drought, the city of Murphy Texas decided that the visual detriments of artificial turf outweighed the water-saving benefits when its city council voted unanimously to ban synthetic lawns according to a local CBS news outlet.

The National Journal reports that lawn-painting companies are cropping up all over California and will transform a yellowing lawn into a healthy looking green yard that should last from three to six months.

A new NASA and University of California study found that 75 percent of the nearly 53 million acre feet of water loss in the Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground sources, which, the study's authors concluded, "may pose a greater threat to the water supply of the Western United States than previously thought."

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California doubled the incentive for turf removal from $1 to $2 per square foot. They also launched a program to help property owners pay for converting from potable water irrigation to recycled water irrigation.

And the battle continues.

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April 22, 2019, 5:42 pm PDT

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