As California imposed its first-ever statewide rules to punish water wasters, a new survey showed why state officials say the drastic measures are needed: Californians actually increased their water use amid the worst drought in decades.
The new rules, approved by the State Water Resources Control Board on a 4-0 vote, impose new restrictions on outdoor water use starting Aug. 1 that could result in fines of up to $500 per violation.
Gov. Jerry Brown in January asked Californians to slash their water use by 20 percent. But a new state survey released Tuesday showed that water use in May rose by 1 percent this year, compared with a 2011-2013 May average.
The survey of 267 water providers by the water board found that water consumption in the Bay Area dropped 5 percent. But in coastal California, south of Santa Barbara, consumption rose 8 percent.
"California is in the worst drought we've seen in our grandparents' generation or beyond," said Felicia Marcus, the water board's chairwoman. "Fields are going fallow. Thousands of people are going to be out of work. There are communities that are out of water -- they're bathing out of buckets and water trucks are coming in to help them.
"But many parts of California don't seem to realize how bad it is," she said, "because they are so far away from their source of water. We are all in this together, and this is not a time to waste water."
The new rules ban washing cars without a nozzle on a hose; watering driveways or sidewalks; using potable water in ornamental fountains; and over-watering landscaping so that water runs off into roads and adjacent properties. Recycled water is exempt.
Under the new statewide rules, any agency that does not impose mandatory conservation measures could be subject to state fines of up to $10,000 a day. But it remained unclear Tuesday whether local agencies will be able to keep in place rules that don't include enforcement or penalties.
More than 60 percent of a regular residential home's water usage goes to lawns, in order to fight the drought effectively, changing real lawns to artificial grass or other low water requiring plantation becomes almost imminent. Synthetic grass company,Global Syn-Turf, Inc. offers more than 50 different type of artificial grass products with distribution centers throughout California: From Sacramento to Fresno to San Francisco Bay Area to Greater Los Angeles, you will be able to find their wonderful product to fit your preference....
Companies that manufacture or install artificial lawns are experiencing a boom in business, due to the drought-like conditions and watering restrictions in many North Texas cities.
But the synthetic lawns today aren't the same plastic AstroTurf made popular in the 1970s. The products on the market now, are not just used for putting greens and football fields either.
Tim Dvorak, owner of the company Synthetic Grass Pro, and gets calls every day from homeowners inquiring about artificial grass.
"I discussed this with many turf manufacturers, that's a big thing they notice. As soon as there are drought restrictions, watering restrictions, or an ordinance like the City of Dallas two-days a week restriction, it really just makes this industry explode," said Dvorak.
Today's synthetic lawns are made to stay cool underfoot, drain water well, and last for 10-15 years. The products come in different shades of green, different textures, and mimic different varieties of natural grass. Choosing artificial can be expensive upfront: prices range from $7.50 to $15 a square foot.
Many homeowners with artificial grass installed in their yards feel that the investment was worth it.
"The initial cost is expensive, but it's already paid for itself over the four years. Not having to re-sod it, not having to water. The yard guys[come less often]. So it's more than paid for itself," said Dvorak.
Many homeowners can be skeptical at the beginning, until they see the fake grass first-hand.
Not all cities in North Texas are on board with artificial grass, though.
Frisco does not allow artificial turf at this time, and many homeowners' associations have rules.
Highland Park passed an ordinance restricting artificial turf to back yards.
Other cities, however, have no rules in place limiting synthetic grass. Those cities include Dallas, Arlington, Denton, and University Park....
Even though it "feels like" we were hunting aster eggs a few days ago, our favorite season is almost upon us... FOOTBALL SEASON!!! Whether you favor the professional teams or maybe college sports is your thing, to matter where you are you can almost smell and feel the energy brewing! Now take that feeling and multiply it by 1000.This must be what it is like for the 60+ High Schools across the United States that will be playing their first home game on a new field of synthetic turf. The list of schools is a "Who's-Who's" of high school sports and the number of teams is growing by the day! When I sat down to write this blog I soon discovered that it would be an easier task to list those who "DID NOT" install a new athletic sports field this year. And I will add that those schools on the "DID NOT" list were only there because they are waiting for their own installation of artificial grass to begin!
Like I stated, the list of educational institutions is vast, however states like Oregon, Louisiana,California, and West Virginia are but a few of the schools we will be hearing about for the next several months. Keeping in mind this list only refers to the High Schools using the amazing new playing surface. There are countless Universities and other venues popping up every single day! The schools that will have their first pitch, first touchdown, or first point on fake will witness first hand what an impeccable and refined surface they are playing on. A field that was tailor made to fit the needs of an athlete of any kind. There is only on question that comes to mind...what will you do with all of your "newly acquired" spare time? Time that you used to spend cleaning up muddy footprints. Well? I guess, lets go warm up the grill!
Say hello to A FEW of the schools and teams that will enjoy their first game on new modern turf that was designed with the player in mind...
Mountaineer Stadium, TX
University of Idaho, ID
Nolan Catholic, TX
Boys Latin, Maryland
Washington High School, Washington
DePew, High School, IN
Pomona Unified, Pomona, CA
Ouachita Christian, Monroe, LA
Jupiter High School, Palm Beach, FL...
Chalk up another win for synthetic grass!!!It is always wonderful to log in the morning and find great and interesting news in the in synthetic turf industry! This morning has proven to be one of those days as well.