Left: Michael Sallus plants
in his front yard. Below:
Sculptures, river rock and
drought-tolerant foliage adorn
the front yard, along with a
quartz gravel walking path.
“[I told myself] the only way I’m going to
consider it is if it looks like real grass,” says
Sallus, who couldn’t imagine his front yard
without any lawn at all.
Other states, including Arizona and
Nevada, have similar turf-removal rebate programs. Metropolitan offers additional rebates
for installing high-efficiency toilets, clothes
washers and rotating sprinkler nozzles;
weather-based irrigation controllers (WBICs),
also known as smart controllers; and soil
moisture sensors and rain barrels. (Check with
your local water district or city agencies for
High-efficiency toilets use 20 percent
less water than standard toilets; high-efficiency clothes washers use 55 percent less
water than standard ones and require less
energy to heat the water; and high-efficiency
rotating sprinkler nozzles use 20 percent less
water than conventional spray heads, according to Metropolitan. WBICs automatically
adjust the irrigation schedule based on
changing weather and can save 13,500 gallons a year by eliminating overwatering,
while moisture sensor systems measure the
moisture content in the soil and signal a controller to bypass the scheduled irrigation
when the soil moisture is high.
Last, rain barrels are a great way to collect
and repurpose rainwater, which is good for
rinsing muddy hands, feet and tools; washing
pets and vehicles; and watering, since it is free
of chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals.
Sallus admits he was never into environmental awareness or water conservation, but
he has certainly changed his way of thinking.
“It’s really cool,” says Sallus, who has
started redesigning his backyard for drought-tolerant landscaping. “And when it all works,
it’s worth it.” C
For more information
For more information on drought-tolerant
click “Garden Spot.”
In our digital editions
Click here to watch a video
on water conservation.
(See page 12 for details.)
Selection varies by location.
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