Here at Revive, we’re all about saving water with our organic liquid fertilizer while making lawns green across the U.S. A study conducted by the Colorado State University research team recently analyzed the impact of urban and residential landscaping on the environment. Weighing the costs and benefits, this study concluded that even though landscaping costs Colorado a bit of money and valuable water, our green spaces are well worth what it takes to maintain them. Here’s some more information on their ground-breaking study:
This study, for the first time, has quantified the return on investment (ROI) of the water used for landscapes given the significant environmental, economic and social benefits our green spaces provide. It reports that Colorado landscapes use only 3% of available water consumed in Colorado.
The team found landscape benefits which fall into three major categories:
• Environmental: carbon sequestration, reduce air pollution, create oxygen, reduce heat island effect, improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat.
• Societal: increase property values and reduce crime.
• Public health: stress relief, fitness and child development.
The study demonstrates that urban landscapes should not be the sole target of water utilities during drought or regarded as easily replacement or disposable. Eliminating landscape water by turning off the spigot or offering “cash for grass” rebates is a short-term fix that creates complex, long-term problems.
A key takeaway from the study is that while any effort at drought management requires plans that save water, those plans should not threaten the viability of landscaped areas. Maintaining healthy landscapes does come at some cost, but the unintended consequences and costs of sacrificing landscapes during drought outweigh the benefits.
The CSU researchers concluded that when considering the ecological, economic and sociological benefits provided by landscaped areas, the use of a mere 3% of Colorado’s total water to maintain them is a legitimate allocation of water resources.