The Politics of Plants and Drought


It’s been a long-held belief of mine that the politics between plants and drought are a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. Case in point…

A new Nevada law outlaws about 31 percent of the grass in the Las Vegas area to conserve water.

The ban targets what the Southern Nevada Water Authority calls “non-functional turf.” It applies to grass that virtually no one uses at office parks, in street medians, and at entrances to housing developments, but excludes single-family homes, parks, and golf courses.

The measure requires the replacement of about six square miles of grass in the metro Las Vegas area. By ripping it out, water officials estimate the region can conserve 10 percent of the water supply and save about 11 gallons per person per day in an area with about 2.3 million people.

When the ban takes effect in 2027, it will apply only to Southern Nevada Water Authority jurisdiction, including Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Tiehm’s buckwheat, which grows only in Nevada’s high desert, should be protected according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The six-inch tall wildflower with yellow blooms is fewer than 30,000 individual plants and hasn’t been found growing anywhere else in the world. It can only be found along Rhyolite Ridge, west of the Town of Tonopah, in the Silver Peak Range.

This is “another man-made problem” problem.

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3 thoughts on “The Politics of Plants and Drought

  1. Thanks for this story, Tom. I do agree that water needs to be conserved in a huge way here, but the way these people are going after the ‘evil people with grass sounds rather Gestapo-ish.

    Liked by 1 person

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