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Low Impact Options

  • 1.  Low Impact Options

    Posted 05-18-2020 15:12
    Hello everyone!

    My question to you all is, how can we most effectively promote cost-effective, low-impact options for our water supply?

    Janice Bezanson

  • 2.  RE: Low Impact Options

    Posted 05-19-2020 13:45
    There are many things everyone can do to reduce water usage. I would personally like to see fewer traditional grass lawns and more xeriscaped yards (i.e., with native plants). Neighborhood developers could lead the way by not installing water guzzling grass in the first place, and by hiring experienced xeric landscape architects to help guide the process. In hindsight, I recall my late grandparents lived in one of the first Dell Webb retirement communities in Arizona. I remember visiting as a child, and the majority of those yards were xeriscaped for a desert environment. Some neighborhoods today are going to be late to the concept, and they will need to tear out traditional grass and install xeric landscape materials. So, perhaps there might be government incentives to move toward xeriscaping, combined with broadly promoted statistical information on how one's water usage/costs will go down.

    I once served on the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission (Board for the nonprofit arm of THC). Here is an idea I shared on Tumblr after visiting some sadly neglected but historically important cemeteries in San Antonio a few years ago, and later, in Austin. In brief, a public-private partnership might be an idea, whereby - starting with the Texas State Cemetery (notorious grass guzzler) - native plants replace traditional grass and other decorative plants. This then serves as a model for other historic cemeteries across Texas. And we could add Google Maps (mapping for grave geolocation) with historic research and education in mind, native plant propagation, pollinator habitat creation (especially important in urban areas), increased heritage tourism (already a big economic generator for Texas), local business enhancement and more to make historic cemeteries models for reduced water usage while remaining attractive and useful on many other levels. 

    We'd need a coordinating body to handle such a multifaceted program. But I do think it is "do-able" and smart thinking.

    Carolyn Appleton