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The Issue of Water in 2010: News Highlights

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

Even though the weather outside may be frightful and cold in most areas of the country, many local lawmakers and city councils are looking at 2010 through the lens of one of our environment's most valuable resources: water. With water shortages and droughts affecting some areas of the country, city governments are creating water conservation policies that would affect residential and commercial landscapes alike.

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Take a look at some of the news highlights of water issues across the country:

  • Water conservation in warm climates could limit residential and commercial landscaping.
    In the Bay Area in California, some cities have created committees to increase water conservation, and this effort may affect suburban lawns.
    • In cities like Menlo Park, California, proposals are now being reviewed, including one that would limit new residential landscapes to "no more than 500 square feet per dwelling unit or to no more than 25 percent of the landscaped area."
    • Another proposal in the same area would limit commercial landscapes to no more than 2,500 square feet of landscaping.
  • Water conservation efforts could affect landscaping companies too.
    In some areas of Florida, policy makers are targeting landscaping companies in order to combat drought, despite flooding in the spring of 2009.
    • New regulations could limit landscapers to choose two days per week to use water in their landscaping, except for new developments that require more water in the beginning of their installation.
    • Under the new policy, landscaping irrigation would have to take place before 10:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m.
    • New policies in Central California are also being reviewed, which would limit the type of plants used by landscapers to dry weather plants that require less water. Landscapers would also be required to submit a water budget and stick to it throughout the year.
  • Water could get more expensive in some areas.
    Some states, like New Jersey, are considering major increases for water in 2010.
    • On the New Jersey City of Fair Lawn, the mayor is currently considering an increase of 22 percent for water. This would translate into an $18-per-quarter increase.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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