What a beautiful site, I have always marveled at the majestic beauty of the Southwest Sonoran Desert.
WAIT a minute! I have an idea let’s make the desert look like Middle American with big trees and grass, and OH! OH! Since it is so warm here we can grow grass year round. Let’s call it “Reverse Xeriscaping” It will take a lot of water but oh man it will look like back home.
Well I hope you know by now I’m kidding, unfortunately what is not a jest is this is exactly what we are doing or have done to much on the landscaping here in Arizona. It may be time to pay the piper; it may be time to start changing back the landscape to what it once was. Yes I know some of you like the grass and do not plan on changing without a battle, that is your choice, for now. Many states and municipalities however, are discussing whether that right will remain. What is certain, we have a water shortage that is not getting any better. Here are some facts;
• Another year of very low precipitation and snowpack in the Rocky Mountains has spurred another year of low runoff on the Colorado River - the 10th such year out of the past 14.
• The seven states that share the basin’s water from Wyoming to California are facing a shortage of 3.2 million acre-feet within 50years, according to a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s three-year study. That’s a rough guess based on the middle range of climate and population projections for a region the bureau says will have 40 million people in 2015 but anywhere from 49 million to 77 million by 2060. The envisioned shortfall is larger than Arizona’s 2.8 million-acre-foot annual share of the river. An acre-foot — 325,851 gallons — is about what two households use in a year.
• The low runoff means the Central Arizona Project has a 35 percent chance of experiencing its first water shortage in history in 2016, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation officials say.
• Much of Arizona’s water — the 1.5 million acre-feet allotted to Central Arizona Project — could be especially at risk if the shortage becomes reality. California gets its share first in a shortage, under terms Arizona accepted to authorize the “CAP Canal.”
So, where does that leave us, it leaves us with few choices all which will cost money and a different approach to water usage. Higher prices will be the first limiter, can’t use what you can’t pay for. Next will come the irrigation usage rationings and finally if it becomes a choice of personal usage verses landscape usage, you right to choose may very well be removed.
What does this mean to you the homeowner? It means the time to start looking at your landscape and consider Xeriscaping. Webster’s dictionary defines Xeriscaping as: a landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques (as the use of drought-tolerant plants, mulch, and efficient irrigation). Basically, its returning the environment in your front lawn to what the environment would have been like before your house was there. Ah! I have always marveled at the majestic beauty of the Southwest Sonoran Desert.