Gov. Jerry Brown is cracking down on how much water Californians use in their daily lives, and that means parched lawns are turning brown as the state heads into its fourth year of drought.
In steps some savvy entrepreneurs who have a solution to water restrictions: spray paint your lawn green, don’t waste water on it. Lawn painting companies, like Xtreme Green Grass, are seeing business boom.
“I probably have about seven appointments scheduled in just the next week or so.” David Bartlett, the company’s owner, told KXTV-Sacramento.
Bartlett’s company sprays a non-toxic green dye across the brown areas of your yard, making look as if it’s been freshly watered. The service takes about an hour and costs 25 cents per square foot.
That may seem like a lot, but Bartlett says it’s way cheaper than making your lawn “drought-friendly” by bringing in new plant material. Doing that can cost homeowners several thousand dollars.
Most of California is going through an “exceptional” drought period, according to monitors, and some 37 million residents are being impacted by less-than-normal rainfall and snowpack. The Golden State saw record low snowpack this year.
In response, Gov. Brown mandated that statewide water use shrink by 25 percent, pushing for fines up to $10,000 for those who use too much water. Republicans have blamed federal and state policymakers for flushing lots of water out to sea every year because of the delta smelt — a small, endangered fish.
“For the governor to come out and say, ‘Look, we all have to now take shorter showers and kill our front lawns and stop washing our cars,’ that is not the answer,” said Travis Allen, Republican State Assembly member. “Forty percent of our water is going into the Pacific Ocean. The answer is, let’s stop sending that water into the Pacific, and let’s send it into our cities, into our homes.”
“Sacramento and Washington have chosen to put the well-being of fish above the well-being of people by refusing to capture millions of acre-feet of water during wet years for use during dry years,” U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican who represents the Bakersfield area. “These policies imposed on us now, and during wet seasons of the past, are leaving our families, businesses, communities and state high and dry.”
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