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posted by janrinok on Thursday June 10, @08:04PM   Printer-friendly
from the get-off-my-lawn! dept.

Las Vegas's new strategy for tackling drought – banning 'useless grass':

A new Nevada law will outlaw about 40% of the grass in the Las Vegas area in an effort to conserve water amid a drought that is drying up the region's primary water source: the Colorado River.

Other cities and states around the US have enacted temporary bans on lawns that must be watered, but legislation signed Friday by the state's governor, Steve Sisolak, makes Nevada the first in the nation to enact a permanent ban on certain categories of grass. Sisolak said last week that anyone flying into Las Vegas viewing the "bathtub rings" that delineate how high Lake Mead's water levels used to be can see that conservation is needed.

"It's incumbent upon us for the next generation to be more conscious of conservation and our natural resources, water being particularly important," he said.

The ban targets what the Southern Nevada Water Authority calls "non-functional turf". It applies to grass that virtually no one uses at office parks, street medians and the entrances to housing developments. It excludes single-family homes, parks and golf courses.

The measure will require the replacement of about 8 sq miles (21 sq km) of grass in the metro Las Vegas area. By ripping it out, water officials estimate the region can reduce annual water consumption by 15% and save about 14 gallons (53 liters) per person a day in a region with a population of about 2.3 million.

If you want grass, go live where grass grows naturally.

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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @11:33PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 10, @11:33PM (#1144125)

    I believe that it's really a different driver:

    In England, for a long time (including when the USA was a colony) much of the national wealth was based around wool. A well-cropped pasture was the sign of wealth, with sheep nibbling down the grass, or mowers scything it down for hay.

    People got used to it, and when they moved from rural areas into suburbs, they wanted to emulate the swell folks with their meadows and pastures. They weren't about to keep much in the way of livestock, and they weren't going to be making hay, very few of them were deeply into kitchen gardening in the world of the supermarket, but they didn't want to give up their fancy lawns. Result: the atavistic urge for green, fancy pastures to show how rich and well-organised they wanted to be seen to be.

    It's all kinds of messed up, but you can actually trace the fashion for grass back to that society.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @07:30AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @07:30AM (#1144198)

    Result: the atavistic urge for green, fancy pastures to show how rich and well-organised they wanted to be seen to be.

    Oh no, don't tell me it has something to do with British. This is a purely American creation in Baby-boomers to sell more chemicals for Levittown suburbs. []

    From Georgia to California, Texas to Colorado, the lawn became the verdant incarnation of postwar capitalism, spreading like food coloring in water and turning the national landscape a deep shade of green. Climatic and soil conditions were brushed aside as developers insisted on growing grass in the most improbable of places. In 1967, entrepreneurs even expanded a nine-hole golf course aptly named “Furnace Creek” to eighteen holes, building square in the middle of Death Valley, where temperatures can reach as high as 134 degrees.

    And to keep these lawns in check, a burst in lawn-mower sales brought the manicuring of America to new heights. People bought 139,000 mowers in 1946; 1.2 million a mere five years later; and a stunning 4.2 million in 1959. As one critic noted in 1961, “the recalcitrant lawn and the odious foundation planting are forever with us from Florida to Oregon — a sacred cow, which we feel compelling to have and hold at any sacrifice.”

    But then ads are so helpful to make right choices, especially in those days with no need for any restraint or regulation. []

    America's psychotic obsession with lawns has been created by Americans to sell more shit to Americans. You reap what you sow?

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday June 11, @12:48PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Friday June 11, @12:48PM (#1144231)

    That history is definitely wrong: British people didn't for the most part move from rural areas to suburbs. British urbanization was the direct result of the Enclosure Acts of the late 1700's and early 1800's that forced what had been the rural population centered in small villages to become the urban industrial working class. Early industrial Britain was extremely cramped and urban, because the only option for poorer people to get around was to walk, so they either slept in their workplace or in ridiculously-overcrowded (by modern standards) boarding houses or tiny apartments within walking distance of their jobs.

    Suburbs came much much later, with the development of commuter rail lines and later cars.

    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @06:23PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 11, @06:23PM (#1144329)

      You're completely missing the point. British fashions didn't drive suburbia. They did however drive things like the notion of what a formal garden should look like, what the appearance of wealth would be and so on. Even chest-thumping american industrialists were surprisingly anglophile when it came to their markers of wealth, and even through the gilded age, inter-war period and so on, the fashion for how fancy houses and big gardens should look was heavily driven by cross-fertilisation from the UK. That then trickled down to people in the USA when they were trying to make suburbs work for people in the USA who didn't know a damn thing about the wool trade, but did know that swell folks had green lawns and driveways.