Sunday, August 21, 2022

California is paying big money for people to dig up their lawns

In a typically forward-thinking move, California is paying people to rip up their lawns. And they are paying quite big money for it, from a base $2 a square foot to as much as $6 with local county and municipal subsidies included. Some residents with large lawns are raking in tens of thousands of dollars.

California, and much of the rest of southwestern USA, is in the throes of an unprecedented (there's that word again) climate change-induced "megadrought", and reservoirs are at an all-time low (as I have discussed previously). It turns out that lawn-watering uses up to 75% of households' water consumption in areas like California. In fact, across America turf lawns are effectively the largest single irrigated "crop", surpassing both corn and wheat, a jaw-dropping little factoid courtesy of NASA and the NOAA.

So, California is taking the bull by the horns and paying people to dig up their lawns, and replace them with drought-resistant plants like manzanita, sage and California lilac, drought-resistant grasses like deer grass, dwarf fountain grass and lemon grass, and even with just plain old mulch, cacti and rocks, with a view to saving millions of gallons of water the state can ill-afford these days.

There's undeniably a lot wrong with the state of California, but every now and then they come up with a revolutionary new policy, years or decades before everyone else, that just makes you go, " Yay, good for you!"

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