Lawn Replaced with Drought Tolerant Groundcover Surrounded by Colorful Plants
View of a front garden with a colorful selection of drought tolerant plants and a low-water lawn replacement with Dymondia margaretae (Silver Carpet).
Design/Photo: © Eileen Kelly, Dig Your Garden Landscape Design
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The Department of Water Resources expects the new water ordinance to cut water use in California homes by 12,000 gallons a year, or 20 percent, and in commercial landscapes by roughly 35 percent. It anticipates that California will add 472,000 single- and multi-family homes, with 20,000 associate acres of landscape, in the next three years. Officials say it’s important to have these landscape standards in place for future growth. The water commission sees these updates as regulating what has already become a standard in California, as many residents have been reducing their lawns on their own. “The community is saving water, but at the same time they are seeing new developments go in, with the high water use associated with those,” Lake says. California’s landscape designers have been cutting back on water consumption in their own projects as well. The San Diego chapter of the Association of Landscape Architects distributed a position paper in 2009 outlining and encouraging the adoption of policies and practices relating to water conservation and the value of regionally appropriate landscapes.