Addressing Water Scarcity with Artificial Turf

Click here to jump straight to the Water Usage Calculator.

For those who are unfamiliar with the looming water scarcity issues, we encourage you to read this article, or to spend 20 minutes watching Netflix’s ‘Explained’ episode about water scarcity.

A synopsis of the situation: there are already many cities across the world dealing with water scarcity – London, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Istanbul, Tokyo, and Mexico City to name a few. It is common knowledge that Los Angeles, California has put a limit on water use to get ahead of their scarcity situation as well.

Another large city that is facing this issue in the immediate future is Cape Town, South Africa (which has about the same population as LA). Cape Town’s water crisis is so bad that government officials announced “Day Zero”. On this day the city will officially shut off all running water to residents and start having them line up for a daily ration. Luckily, due to heavier than usual rainfall and limiting water usage, Cape Town has avoided running out of water in 2019 and should be okay through 2020 as long as they continue limiting their consumption.

How Can We Combat Water Scarcity?

There’s not a whole lot we can do as individuals to combat water scarcity because most of it is happening at a massive scale in the energy and agricultural sectors. However, there are certain things we can each do to help on a smaller scale. Some suggestions have been common practice for years: like turning off the water when brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and maximizing your laundry loads.

One of the heaviest uses of water is in lawn maintenance. We often don’t think about how much water we use to keep our grass green because it seems fairly cheap on the monthly water bills and we usually don’t physically see all the water we’re using (thanks to timer-based home irrigation systems). To help showcase just how much water is used to keep your lawn green, we’ve created a helpful calculator below.

This calculator is based on two important factors:

“In order to keep your lawn green during hot and dry periods, at least 1 inch of water will need to be applied weekly.” – Aaron Patton, Turf Grass Specialist at Purdue University.

“To provide your lawn with one inch of water takes a little over half a gallon per square foot (0.623 gallon to be more exact).” – Danny Lipford, Home Improvement Expert.

That water usage adds up fast, especially if you have your irrigation system set up to run based on a schedule instead of managing it based on the weather. Try out the calculator below and play with the watering schedule to see just how much water you could be using.

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For reference, the average US household uses about 1000 gallons of water a week just inside the house (or 420 gallons per person).

When you choose to install artificial turf in your yard, you’re doing the planet a favor by saving all of that water. You’re also saving money in the long-term. On average, homeowners who invest in artificial turf will break even on their investment during year seven. After that, you’re saving money and helping save the planet.

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