Glass Half Full

Governor Brown has declared a severe drought emergency and will mandate a 25 percent cutback in water usage. This will be a challenge for homeowners, businesses, and municipalities, but it presents an opportunity for those of us in the landscaping profession in Santa Barbara.

Some hundreds of acres of lawn will be removed and replaced with drought-tolerant plants. That’s a lot of paying work. Greywater systems will be installed — more work. Roof rainwater collection systems will be installed, and cisterns to store rainwater will be installed. More efficient drip irrigation systems will be installed. There is honest money to be made.

Other businesses will benefit, too: nurseries that propagate drought-tolerant plants, companies that sell irrigation supplies, landscape designers who create pleasing lawn-free gardens, and consultants who can coach homeowners in more water-efficient methods.

The small guy with a pickup can sell and spread mulch, because mulch on plant beds saves waters. The bigger businesses can lobby and persuade governments to permit more greywater systems and then install those systems at large business parks in Goleta and other places.

This severe drought presents a challenge to all Californians, but it’s not all bad news.

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