Trying to be more drought conscious? Here are some alternatives for your lawns

Tips to save water include shorter showers or collecting rainwater. However, an MWD official said the biggest drains are lawns.
SUN VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) wants everyone to take California's current drought situation seriously.

That's why they recently announced its first ever water restriction limiting outdoor watering to one day per week.

"We need help. We need you to cut back," said Krista Guerrero, MWD's Water Efficiency Specialist. "We need to make some big changes and some big choices in our lives so that we can keep living this beautiful Southern California lifestyle."

Some tips to save water include shorter showers or taking advantage of rainwater. However, Guerrero said the biggest drain comes from lawns.

She said the average lawn accounts for about 70% of a household's water usage. A solution - a California-friendly drought-tolerant landscape.

"This is the perfect opportunity to let that grass die and come out here to any of the beautiful nurseries we have here in Southern California, including Theodore Payne, and see how beautiful your landscape can be with some native and California friendly plants," said Guerrero.

The Theodore Payne Foundation is a nonprofit that specializes in California-native plants. Executive Director Evan Meyer said because these plants evolved here, they're used to less water.

"They like infrequent watering," Meyer said. "So, in comparison to a lawn where you're watering multiple times per week, with native plants, once they're established, you're going to be watering less than once a week."

Meyer said if you're thinking about making the switch, he recommends using the summer to plan and then planting in the fall months. He said not only will this save water, but it will also save money.

"In many ways, making the switch is kind of a no-brainer because you can get rebates to remove your lawn and you can have a lower water bill every month," Meyer said. "So, you can have a more beautiful space, protect our precious national resources here and you can save money at the same time."

The Theodore Payne Foundation is located at 10507 Tuxford St, Sun Valley, CA 91352.

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