In 2015, the governor of California was forced to impose very strict water conservation measures because of a severe, ongoing four-year-long drought. Residents were asked to curtail a number of water-related activities, including washing their cars and watering their lawns. But as bad as this drought was, it may be just a sign of times to come. Because, according to National Geographic, global warming could cause a drought in the American West of "epic proportions" during the latter half of this century. So what can you do if you live in an area that is prone to droughts? Consider converting your yard to a xeriscape design, which uses drought-tolerant plants that require little to no extra watering. Still not sure if xeriscaping is for you? Then check out these ten reasons why xeriscaping makes sense today.
- You can save money. Studies have shown that homeowners who have xeriscaped yards use 50 to 75 percent less water than those who have the traditional water-guzzling green lawns. In addition, you can also save on those extras, such as fertilizers and pesticides, that you have to pay for each year in order to maintain a lush lawn.
- It's good for the planet. According to the EPA, Americans use approximately 9 billion gallons of water per day on landscape irrigation. By xeriscaping your yard, you can do your part in reducing that extraordinarily large number. You will also be saving energy by xeriscaping. How? Because it takes a lot of resources for water to go through the sewage plant process and to be delivered to your home. And because you won't be mowing or weed whacking, you will also be reducing the amount of pollutants that you introduce into the air.
- You might be eligible for monetary incentives. In some areas of the country, such as California, Colorado and Texas, utilities are offering incentives and rebates to their customers that change their yards to one with a xeriscape design.
- Xeriscaping gives your yard a unique appearance. With xeriscaping, you can break away from that traditional square of green that every other house on your block has sitting in front of their home. One caveat: If you live in a development with a homeowner's association, make sure to check on its bylaws to make sure that you create a xeriscape that falls within their guidelines.
- It could enhance the value of your home. Because xeriscaping comes with so many benefits, including reduced water bills and lower maintenance, it could actually increase the value of your property by as much as 15 percent.
- No more ugly, dead lawns. During major droughts, most government officials impost strict restrictions on watering lawns. Unfortunately, no water typically means a dead lawn. But xeriscaping avoids this risk.
- You can avoid drought-shaming. During the recent California drought, angry residents began sharing pictures on social media of lush green lawns as a way to publicly shame homeowners who were ignoring the ban on watering their lawns.
- Be like the celebs. A number of celebs, including Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts, have torn out at least part of their lawns in favor of more sustainable landscaping. This is really not surprising since Californians especially love to drought-shame celebs who have bright green lawns during a drought.
- Xeriscaping requires less maintenance. Do you hate mowing, weed whacking or dragging a heavy hose and sprinkler around your yard? With xeriscaping, these chores will be entirely or significantly reduced, which means you'll have to spend less time being a slave to your yard.
With the growing concerns about global warming and the possibility of severe droughts, it's possible that the emerald green lawns of today will soon disappear. And that really isn't a bad thing when you consider how much those lush lawns cost us monetarily and in time.
For more information and options, talk with a xeriscape landscaper in your area, such as those at Bourget Bros Building Materials.