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 California, of course, faces the issue of water supply every day.   I remember reading a story about water use in the paper a few years ago, when we were in the middle of a protracted drought.  The suggestion was raised that we get rid of all of our lawns, temporarily, by just letting them die (until the drought was over).  This article concluded that if we all did this, the "heat island" effect would be significant, raising temperatures within the city and suburban areas significantly (important here in Sacramento where summers can be quite hot).  (I can't remember the numbers, but the article included estimates of temperature increases, and other effects such as decreased humidity and air quality issues.)  In this city, if everyone paved over their lawns or put rocks there instead, it would be a disaster.

I like the alternative lawn ideas, using native grasses for lawns and ground covers instead of lawns.  

Anyway, great discussion.  I have been comtemplating getting rid of most of my lawn, and this gives me some good ideas for alternatives.

Kathryn Barwick
Office of Pollution Prevention
California Dept of Toxic Substances Control
Ph (916) 323-9560
F   (916) 327-4494
email: kbarwick@dtsc.ca.gov

Kathryn Barwick
Office of Pollution Prevention
California Dept of Toxic Substances Control
Ph (916) 323-9560
F   (916) 327-4494
email: kbarwick@dtsc.ca.gov

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Does anybody have information about the fate of water that is used for watering
the lawn? What percentage of it seeps to the ground, what percentage is
vaporized, and what percentage ends up in the grass? I suspect most of the
water ends up in the grass or seeps into the ground. Either way this water is
not reusable, unlike the water used in the bathrooms and kitchens, which ends
up in the waterbody it came from through wastewater treatment plants. If that
is so, we are wasting enormous amounts of fresh water in watering lawns, which
look good and are part of an old tradition, but otherwise do not serve any
useful purpose. Although, we live in Great Lakes area and the water is
abundant, yet it is not unlimited. Sooner or later we will starting running out
of fresh water if we keep depleting it through watering the lawn and other
wasteful practices. The lake levels are already on decline. The lawns are also
environmentally unfriendly because of water pollution problems resulting from
runoffs of fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and other lawn treatment
chemicals and air pollution problems emanating from exhaust of lawn mowers. The
lawn mowers require energy to power them. The time used in watering, nurturing
and cutting the lawn could be better used in spending time with family members,
relative, and friends or developing hobbies.
In light of the above, it might be a good idea to have a fake lawn, instead of
a real lawn.
The above is entirely my own opinion and not that of my employer, who is in the
business of selling water. Incidentally, I have no vested interest in fake
lawns, either. I am just a concerned environmental engineer.

Illig, Richard wrote:

> Not sure this is applicable...or that I'm remembering correctly
> A year or two ago someone posted a message about cleaning moss from
> roofs/shingles.  One suggested "cure" was submitted.  You may find the
> original posting/response in the archives.
> Does anyone else remember this or have any additional clues that might help
> (or at least prevent wasting time on) an archive search?

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