Las Vegas combats drought with artificial grass
In June, Governor Steve Sisolak signed a measure requiring nearly a third of all grass in southern Nevada to be removed from the Colorado River by the end of 2026 – about 30,000 acre-feet.
Responding to the drought and water scarcity across the Southwest, the law is making homeowners think about artificial turf, which is more environmentally friendly than a natural turf. Growing and caring for grass requires regular watering and fertilizing, which can have a negative impact on the environment. Installing artificial turf or desert landscapes can save water and reduce the carbon footprint.
Elizabeth Mullally, general manager of Las Vegas Artificial Lawns, said homeowners are switching to artificial turf.
“I’ve been doing this for 15 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” she said. “We’ve always been busy, but what’s happening now is just unreal with what people are doing with their homes. I’m usually booked two weeks in advance. At the moment we are fully booked until the end of August.
“But it makes sense because this is a home improvement project where SNWA is paying you to get rid of weed. You can keep your trees, flowers and bushes, but convert the grass that is draining water resources. “
The SNWA will reimburse $ 3 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with desert landscape up to the first 10,000 square feet converted per property per year. The agency grants a discount of $ 1.50 per square foot beyond the first 10,000 feet. The maximum allotment for a property in a fiscal year is $ 500,000. Over the years, the Water Smart Landscapes rebate program has upgraded approximately 200 million square feet of lawn to water-efficient landscaping, saving billions of liters of water.
Mullally said a typical garden is between 400 and 600 square feet, and homeowners have a different request for each garden. She is installing more dog runs on the sides of houses with putting greens and bowling green.
“Some prefer a more neat look, like it has just been mowed, while others want the garden to look lush, like it needs to be mowed in the next few days,” she said. “We operate residential and commercial properties, and there was a residential lawn in a house in Anthem where we installed 15,000 square feet of artificial turf.”
According to Mullally, the company’s product is made in the United States and comes with a 15-year warranty. The guarantee guarantees that the lawn will not fade, dry out, become brittle or lose its color. It is drought resistant and remains lush and green even in the harshest and driest conditions.
“I’d like to point out that the brand of artificial grass we use is popular in Canada,” she said. “This shows his ability to deal with extreme weather conditions.”
Heavy pedestrian traffic can create bald spots, ruts, and paths in natural grass, creating an uncomfortable appearance that makes curbs less attractive. Artificial turf is much more resilient than natural turf and can withstand the constant pressure of pedestrian traffic as the stalks bounce back into place.
“We have different products based on the specific needs of our customers,” she said. “For example, a family of four with pets is typically outside all the time and they need artificial turf that can withstand heavy traffic. But it’s a different story for a retired couple who don’t spend much time in their backyard.
“When we advise a customer, we hold in-depth discussions to find out which of our 12 products best suits their needs. You don’t need a heavily frequented lawn in the front yard, but it’s completely different in the back yard. “
Features of the artificial turf installed by Las Vegas Artificial Lawns include its fiber heat reduction technology that lowers surface temperature, evaporative cooling fillings, a soy-based BioCel coating that replaces petroleum components, antimicrobial agents in the back to reduce pet odors, and nylon products, that do not melt due to reflective lighting from windows.
Artificial turf first attracted attention in 1966 when it was installed in the one year old Houston Astrodome and renamed AstroTurf. The turf systems of the first generation were short-pile fibers and were later replaced by the artificial turf systems of the second generation with longer fibers and sand deposits. The third generation systems most widely used today offer fillings that are mixtures of sand and granules made from recycled rubber.