Water useage in an arid state
Hi members. I thought I'd post a comment on water useage, especially now that we're in the high-use summer season. This is my first summer back in the valley after a Cal. hiatus for several years...
I probably water more than many of my neighbors in my Ahwatukee neighborhood. Many of them have hot, gravel covered front yards with a few oleanders or pigmy palms here and there- but no lawns. And many of the neighbors that have lawns don't maintain them correctly. My point is, am I viewed by the general public as a water waster? I try not to use more than is necessary to have a good quality, lush front yard. I don't flush the toilet often; recycle all my stuff. I realize I could renovate to a xeric landscape. I've thought of doing it. But, as summers here are more frequently in the 110+ range, I'm all the more motivated to have a cool "oasis" as my front yard (especially my lawn.) I'm a big advocate of a healthy lawn's benefits- cooling, beauty, O2, CO2 eater, foot- feel... and it enriches the soil.
My City of Phx water bill in the summer (including sewer and trash) approaches 200/mo. How does this compare with other members? To be accurate, I should find out how many gallons/month I actually use...
My thoughts are that water follows the money. If valley area farmers are willing to pay what homeowners are willing to pay for water, there will be fewer residential developments because of a lack of water for homes. From what I understand, the state's active management areas require that residential developments have a long term water supply available before development can occur.
IMO, urban areas like Tucson and Phoenix (and esp. Phoenix) should encourage, not discourage, lush, green landscaping because it lowers the heat island effect (as well as air pollution components.) It's speculated that one day the heat island effect will be so great that Phoenix sees an overnight low of over 100. I don't know if this is realistic, but I read it.
Opinions? Are any neighbors hostile to your water use in the garden?