Nevada Bans the Use of Colorado River Water for Ornamental Grass

AB 356 could be "the most aggressive municipal water conservation measure that's been taken in the western United States."

June 15, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Nevada Grass

chara_stagram / Shutterstock

Daniel Rothberg reports: "Earlier this year, Las Vegas water planners asked the Legislature to pass a new law that prohibits water-intensive decorative turf within medians, along roads and in business parks. Lawmakers approved it with little opposition and Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill on Friday."

"The legislation, AB356, aims to reduce per capita water use by prohibiting Colorado River water from being used to irrigate ornamental turf not used for a single-family home after 2026," explains Rothberg. "Ornamental, or nonfunctional, turf typically refers to grass that is installed for decorative purposes and is rarely walked on or used."

"The removal of an estimated 3,900 acres of decorative turf could save roughly 9.3 billion gallons of water annually — about 10 percent of the state’s entire Colorado River allotment."

Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager John Entsminger is quoted in the article describing the state legislation as "the most aggressive municipal water conservation measure that's been taken in the western United States."

The feature-length article detailing the historic legislation includes background on the normally "fractious" water politics in Nevada, as well as how the ban on ornamental turf will be implemented and the significance of act of ripping out grass.

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