Tag Archives: conservation

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas (and Santa Monica)

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

Further Commentary:  In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015:  Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

And Even Further Commentary:  As I sit here posting this item in late 2017, my front yard is completely populated with drought tolerant plants and a drip irrigation system. We received the maximum $6,000 rebate from the City of Santa Monica at $3.50 per square foot of turf replaced. However, that amount, which is quite generous, did not come close to the full cost of this expensive project. Don’t let anyone tell you that drought landscaping is simple or cheap.

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April 26, 1911: Water Waste

April 26, 1911: Municipal Journal and Engineer editorial. Waste in Public Water Consumption. “We have had occasion several times to call attention to the fact that no class of consumers waste more water than schools and other municipal buildings and that consequently meters or other methods of restricting waste are fully as important here as on any other services in the city, in spite of the seeming anomaly of a city’s measuring the water which it delivers to itself.

An illustration of this is furnished by the city of New Bedford, Mass. During the year 1910 there was metered and charged to the schools, engine houses, police stations, city hall, library, almshouse, city stables, cemeteries, parks, wharfs and electric car sprinklers 88,809,000 gallons. In addition, metered water was supplied for drinking fountains, extinguishing fires, flushing sewers, puddling trenches, street operations and water department work which is estimated by the superintendent to have amounted to 200,000,000 gallons. This total of 288,000,000 gallons is about one-tenth of the total consumption of the city.

How much water was being wasted previous to the use of meters is not known; but all departments now watch their meter records and if an abnormal amount is registered they quickly locate and remove the cause, while hitherto they have concerned themselves very little with leaky fixtures. The school department, previous to the installment of meters, had several very large motors operating ventilating machines. One of these was metered and found to use over 27,000,000 gallons a year, and it is fair to presume an equal amount was being used by each of the others. When meters were installed at the end of 1909, these motors were all discontinued and electricity was substituted as a motive power.”

Reference: “Waste in Public Water Consumption.” 1911. Municipal Journal and Engineer editorial 30:17(April 26, 1911): 579.

Commentary: Fixing leaks and eliminating unaccounted for water is still a big challenge for water utilities today. Utilities realized in the early 20th century that fixing water waste was like finding a new water supply.

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas (and Santa Monica)

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015: Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

Dirt Where Lawn Used To Be

And Even Further Commentary: As I sit here posting this item in late 2016, my front yard is completely dug up and we are awaiting the delivery of drought tolerant plants and a drip irrigation system to complete our drought landscaping project. It looks like we could get as much as $6,000 in rebates from the City of Santa Monica at $3.50 per square foot of turf replaced. However, that amount, which is quite generous, will not come close to the full cost of this expensive project. Don’t let anyone tell you that drought landscaping is simple or cheap.

1108-lawn-replace2

April 26, 1911: Water Waste

0426 Water WasteApril 26, 1911: Municipal Journal and Engineer editorial. Waste in Public Water Consumption. “We have had occasion several times to call attention to the fact that no class of consumers waste more water than schools and other municipal buildings and that consequently meters or other methods of restricting waste are fully as important here as on any other services in the city, in spite of the seeming anomaly of a city’s measuring the water which it delivers to itself.

An illustration of this is furnished by the city of New Bedford, Mass. During the year 1910 there was metered and charged to the schools, engine houses, police stations, city hall, library, almshouse, city stables, cemeteries, parks, wharfs and electric car sprinklers 88,809,000 gallons. In addition, metered water was supplied for drinking fountains, extinguishing fires, flushing sewers, puddling trenches, street operations and water department work which is estimated by the superintendent to have amounted to 200,000,000 gallons. This total of 288,000,000 gallons is about one-tenth of the total consumption of the city.

How much water was being wasted previous to the use of meters is not known; but all departments now watch their meter records and if an abnormal amount is registered they quickly locate and remove the cause, while hitherto they have concerned themselves very little with leaky fixtures. The school department, previous to the installment of meters, had several very large motors operating ventilating machines. One of these was metered and found to use over 27,000,000 gallons a year, and it is fair to presume an equal amount was being used by each of the others. When meters were installed at the end of 1909, these motors were all discontinued and electricity was substituted as a motive power.”

Reference: “Waste in Public Water Consumption.” 1911. Municipal Journal and Engineer editorial 30:17(April 26, 1911): 579.

Commentary: Fixing leaks and eliminating unaccounted for water is still a big challenge for water utilities today. Utilities realized in the early 20th century that fixing water waste was like finding a new water supply.

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal. 2015: Turf removal has become so popular during the mega-drought in California that budgeted amounts for the programs are quickly oversubscribed.

April 26, 1911: Water Waste

0426 Water WasteApril 26, 1911: Municipal Journal and Engineer editorial. Waste in Public Water Consumption. “We have had occasion several times to call attention to the fact that no class of consumers waste more water than schools and other municipal buildings and that consequently meters or other methods of restricting waste are fully as important here as on any other services in the city, in spite of the seeming anomaly of a city’s measuring the water which it delivers to itself.

An illustration of this is furnished by the city of New Bedford, Mass. During the year 1910 there was metered and charged to the schools, engine houses, police stations, city hall, library, almshouse, city stables, cemeteries, parks, wharfs and electric car sprinklers 88,809,000 gallons. In addition, metered water was supplied for drinking fountains, extinguishing fires, flushing sewers, puddling trenches, street operations and water department work which is estimated by the superintendent to have amounted to 200,000,000 gallons. This total of 288,000,000 gallons is about one-tenth of the total consumption of the city.

How much water was being wasted previous to the use of meters is not known; but all departments now watch their meter records and if an abnormal amount is registered they quickly locate and remove the cause, while hitherto they have concerned themselves very little with leaky fixtures. The school department, previous to the installment of meters, had several very large motors operating ventilating machines. One of these was metered and found to use over 27,000,000 gallons a year, and it is fair to presume an equal amount was being used by each of the others. When meters were installed at the end of 1909, these motors were all discontinued and electricity was substituted as a motive power.”

Reference: “Waste in Public Water Consumption.” 1911. Municipal Journal and Engineer editorial 30:17(April 26, 1911): 579.

Commentary: Fixing leaks and eliminating unaccounted for water is still a big challenge for water utilities today. Utilities realized in the early 20th century that fixing water waste was like finding a new water supply.

November 8, 2007: Turf Removal Leadership in Las Vegas

Turf Removal

Turf Removal

November 8, 2007:  New York Times headline—A ‘Hidden Oasis’ in Las Vegas’s Water Waste. “There’s a back to the land movement of sorts around Las Vegas these days, driven by the desert city’s growing realization that the only reason it can exist — the sapphire, but shrinking, expanse of Lake Mead 30 miles away — is not as durable as the Hoover Dam that created the reservoir 70 years ago.

The lake is below half its capacity after years of drought in the Colorado River basin.

So under turf removal programs initiated by the city and regional water agencies, homeowners and businesses have been paid up to $2 a square foot to roll up and cart away lawns and replace them with “xeriscapes,” desert-friendly plantings.

The Web site of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which manages water in the region, has links to a variety of demonstration “xeric” gardens, including one at the local campus of the University of Nevada.”

CommentaryThe article goes on to quote critics who said that the Southern Nevada Water Authority should be doing more. Well, sure. Everyone should always be doing “more.” However, in my humble opinion, we will look back on the turf removal effort by SNWA as a historic turning point in the war against municipal water over-use in the arid West. Pat Mulroy and her leadership team at the SNWA have great reason to be proud of this innovation.

Further Commentary: In 2014, in the middle of California’s worst recorded drought, many utilities are emulating the Las Vegas leadership and offering up to $3 per square foot of turf removal.