U.S. Water News Online
SAN FRANCISCO -- Thirsty grass is expected to strain water
supplies in California over the next 25 years if nothing is done to
reduce outdoor water use, according to a new study.
The growing number of single-family homes with lush lawns,
especially in the Central Valley, is projected to significantly
increase the state's water demands, according to the report by the
Public Policy Institute of California.
The amount of water used by California's cities and suburbs could
increase from 8.9 million acre feet in 2000 to 11.9 million acre feet
in 2030, the report said. Urban areas account for about 20 percent of
the water used in California, while agricultural accounts for the
The typical inland home uses two to three times as much water as
the typical coastal residence because a greater share of inland
housing is made up of single-family homes with lawns, according to
California is projected to add about 11 million new residents by
2025, and at least half of them are expected to live in inland areas.
"Do the math," said PPIC economist Ellen Hanak, who co-authored
the study. "We're facing the prospect of many more people, with more
lawns and gardens, in the state's hottest, driest regions. That adds
up to a lot of water."
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