You may have seen those startling aeriel photographs in the New York Times of new California housing tracts with emerald-green lawns edged up against swaths of dry desert. The governor’s drought order will change that picture. It's just not exactly clear how.
One of the less talked-about new rules in his 31-point drought plan will ban watering outside newly constructed homes and buildings – unless it’s with recycled water, or using drip or microspray systems.
“The landscaping definitely will change in terms of its look," says Mike Prandini, of the Building Industry Association of Fresno and Madera Counties, "which means grass, because grass takes an awful lot of water to keep it alive, to keep it green."
He says many builders are already putting in drought-efficient plants, sometimes astroturf.
“We think those are responsible approaches and are pleased to see that the Governor’s not calling for any kind of a moratorium on new building,” says former State Sen. Dave Codgill.