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Environment & Science

California Drought News: Thirsty crops, and thrifty lawns?



A bird relaxes on recently-planted grass in LA's City Hall Park. The lawn designed after the Occupy movement is expected to attract more birds and insects.
A bird relaxes on recently-planted grass in LA's City Hall Park. The lawn designed after the Occupy movement is expected to attract more birds and insects.
Andres Aguila/KPCC

Monday's news spends a lot of time reporting on farming and agriculture around the state - kind of like the project I did on California in the 4th grade.

“Apples need about a half acre-foot of water per acre, whereas strawberries take two or more acre-feet,” Mr. Lockwood said. “You can’t blame growers for seeking better-paying crops, but it has quadrupled water use per acre.” (NY Times)

The Times also reports that some estimates have it that California will fallow as much as 20 percent of its rice this year; rice is also a very water intensive crop.

The same way a dietitian would bulk up a wasting patient with lots of calories and nutrients. Except Caspi is like a soil chef, mixing fermented manure and compost in varying proportions “to re-establish a whole layer of soil that holds water” like a subterranean sponge. (Sac Bee)

Closer to home, thirsty lawns get their due.

The LADWP is pleased with the recent rise in turf-rebate requests — 7.4 million square feet of turf have been removed from the Los Angeles landscape since 2009. But that is only 1,298 projects out of 482,000 single-family homes. (LA Times)

Do you love your lawn enough to make it more efficient? Hate artificial turf? Prefer Mediterranean or native plants? Sound off in the comments.