I know the CVWD took a lot of flack for cutting down those trees. And truth be told, it could have handled the situation better. But I applaud the decision to showcase drought-tolerant landscaping at CVWD headquarters.
Our region can no longer afford to be spendthrifts with water. We've had half a decade of drought. Our population is increasing, and buying water from other agencies is expensive.
But conserving water doesn't have to mean leaving the toilet unflushed and turning off the water while we lather up in the shower. Lawns and water-thirsty gardens are huge water users. Replacing a lawn with an interesting selection of drought-tolerant plants will cut your water usage without changing your daily lifestyle, except that you won't have to mow the lawn every week.
I'm not suggesting that everyone should pull up every bit of lawn. Kids still need grass so they can run around and play ball and tag. Baseball fields just aren't the same without grass. But how many of us actually walk around or play on our front lawns? I've got small kids, but they always play in the backyard. The front lawn? It could go. No problem.
So take a good hard look at your landscaping and try to imagine what it would look like covered with California poppies, rosemary, coral bells and tufts of wild grasses. And those of you who get your residential water from CVWD, it will pay you $50 for every 100 square feet of lawn that you replace with water conserving plants or landscape materials.
That, to me, sounds like a great idea.