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I water my lawn because I have to by HOA rules, and am working on replacing turf with more water-friendly plants while still keeping my home sufficiently in line with the community. If the status quo changed, I would be able to be more aggressive with my xeriscaping.
What is far more valuable to me as a Coloradan than growing bluegrass in my own lawn is free flowing rivers. I might not live in a mountain town, but I want to know a healthy ecosystem awaits where I can recreate when I get out of the city and escape up to the mountains. There's a reason I-70 is jam-packed every weekend, and it's not to go visit lawns...
 

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If you ever really want to see wasted water tour the Utah and California desert farms. The imperial valley in CA actively waters crops during the heat of day under full sun and wind while it's 110F outside. I was disgusted driving through there.
 

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Or even worse, how about Las Vegas? A city of two million people, with a special emphasis on green golf courses and fountains and green lawns......all in a desert that Lewis Black once described as a place "where lizards should have sex and THATS IT". (he was talking about L.A. but same same....)
 

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The city makes money on green lawns. Do cities have a use it or lose it water rights system? I was down in Denver quite a bit this last week and city was watering parks in a lot of areas of town (Denver Proper) and the grass in some parks was swamp. What the hell are they watering for with all this rain especially this late in the summer... Maybe use it or lose it. Denver uses 300 million gallons of water per day on average June-August.

Asleep what is the HOA penalty for not watering the lawn?
 

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Of all water diverted from the western slope, only 15% is used my municipalities. Of that, half is used indoors and half outdoors. The rest is agriculture. So if you want to more accurately place blame, look to the beef industry.
 

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And if you ever want to see Bailey run again, water your friggin lawn, instead of letting that water flow down the Colorado so those whiney west-slopers can surf their SUPs in Glenwood.
 

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Asleep what is the HOA penalty for not watering the lawn?
In my case, the HOA can take on any maintenance or upkeep issues that a homeowner neglects, and then bill the homeowner. I don't know if that is standard statewide... How that would work practically for watering is an open question, but it's much easier and cheaper to run my sprinklers than pick a fight with someone in the HOA and then engage a lawyer. It would probably be a harassing level of mail and phone calls until I complied first, and then getting more drastic if I got stubborn about it.
We've been here under a year, and have already xeriscaped one patch of turf. Probably a little under 200 square feet, and it had 8 sprinkler heads installed! WTF? Cholla & yucca and rock aren't cheap, so ROI in water savings isn't very good, but they're more interesting to look at and it's doing the right thing.
 

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In my case, the HOA can take on any maintenance or upkeep issues that a homeowner neglects, and then bill the homeowner. I don't know if that is standard statewide... How that would work practically for watering is an open question, but it's much easier and cheaper to run my sprinklers than pick a fight with someone in the HOA and then engage a lawyer. It would probably be a harassing level of mail and phone calls until I complied first, and then getting more drastic if I got stubborn about it.
We've been here under a year, and have already xeriscaped one patch of turf. Probably a little under 200 square feet, and it had 8 sprinkler heads installed! WTF? Cholla & yucca and rock aren't cheap, so ROI in water savings isn't very good, but they're more interesting to look at and it's doing the right thing.
Have you talked with your local Extension Service rep? I know locally here in Utah they will subsidize a fair portion of the cost of transitioning to xeriscaping. We don't own a house but most of our friends have used this option to remove everything but a small portion of their grass lawns (they keep a little for their kids or animals to use).

Its great to see more people heading this route. Its a change in aesthetics but has so many benefits in the intermountain west.

Phillip
 

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????? What's that? Like the way the Las Vegas water authority pays people to rip up turf? As far as I know, there aren't any programs like that on the front range.
Every state has an Extension Service, they are associated with the Land Grant university in the state and have satellite representatives across each county. In Colorado I think its associated with Colorado State (from a quick search). Wether or not they have a program like I mentioned is less certain, especially considering the funding it would require with the population size of the front range.

Colorado State University Extension

County list is here:

Colorado State University Extension

In Utah we can work with our county office to transition and either get rebates or the aforementioned monies for xeriscaping. Each office also provides materials for the cost of publication for things like gardening, for cost soil testing, etc. They are an underused service in my book and I have grown to appreciate them immensely.

Hope that helps as I sincerely appreciate the western movement to xeriscaping.

Phillip
 

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Golf

I blame golf courses. How much water do they use year around so that 100 dudes can go wack a ball into a hole every weekend?
 
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