It might seem odd to bring up our state’s water shortage after a period of very heavy rains, but the state’s Department of Water Resources notes that we are still in the fourth year of a drought and that the reservoirs are still well below their average. Last year, there was serious talk of water rationing.
Arguably, the best way to save water begins with the design of one’s yard. This is such an important issue that the State passed the Water Conservation in Landscaping Act of 2006. Cities must now adopt a water efficient landscape ordinance. While the City has technically complied with this act, they’ve done little to actually promote water conversation.
Other cities are doing much more at little to no cost to their budgets. Menlo Park is considering an stronger ordinance based on Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency guidelines. They may go even beyond these guidelines and apply these rules to new, smaller residences and those doing renovations. Menlo Park already limits the amount of a homes’ landscaped area to 25 percent and restricts the time at which one can water their lawns.
This is an example of a Council providing real leadership in tackling a key issue that faces all Californians. Large lawns used to be seen as a status symbol. Now, people are starting to understand that they’re wasting one of our key, precious resources. There are many options that people can use to set up a beautiful, water-sipping yardscape as can be seen at the following site. A photo of one such example is below
Kudos to the Menlo Park City Council for considering this type of ordinance.