State Watch

Nevada bans ‘non-functional’ grass to combat drought

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Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) on Saturday signed a law that bans “non-functional” grass in an effort to combat the effects of a drought that is threatening one of the state’s primary sources of water: the Colorado River.

The ban targets “non-functional turf,” which is defined as grass that no one uses, at office parks, in street medians and at housing development entrances. Single-family homes, parks and golf courses are exempt from the law, The Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, the measure will ban about 40 percent of the grass in the Las Vegas area, which gets around 90 percent of its water supply from the Colorado River.

The ban will go into effect in 2027 and will apply only to areas under the jurisdiction of the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

“It’s incumbent upon us for the next generation to be more conscious of conservation and our natural resources — water being particularly important,” Sisolak said, according to the AP.

The governor pointed to the “bathtub ring” that passengers flying into Las Vegas can see around Lake Mead as evidence of badly needed water conservation.

The new law will require that about 6 square miles of grass be replaced in the metro Las Vegas area, the AP reported, with officials estimating that the region could conserve 10 percent of its total available Colorado River water supply and save approximately 11 gallons per person per day.

Although other local and state governments have enacted temporary grass bans during droughts, Nevada is the first to outright ban certain uses of grass.

Tags Colorado River Nevada Steve Sisolak water scarcity

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