The Effectiveness of Water Irrigation Policies for Residential Turfgrass

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Turfgrass, Domestic water policy, Restrictions, Citations, Lawns

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Turfgrass irrigation policies have been implemented in various regions of the U.S. to reduce domestic water consumption. Mandatory restrictions are often enforced by issuing citations to violators with the intent to promote compliance and deter violations. This study provides a detailed investigation of past water restrictions and compliance, and attempts to determine which factors are related to high rates of water usage within communities of Tampa, FL. The adjusted rainfall rate had the most significant relationship with water usage in the communities under study. Water usage increased in each examined community after it transitioned to more stringent water usage restrictions, with cited restriction violators increasing usage to a greater extent than their uncited counterparts. This increase may primarily be attributed to conflicts between the local water consumption policy and binding homeowner association rules. When the once-a-week usage restriction was in place, the area faced drought conditions. Therefore, homeowners irrigated more to meet the water needs of their lawns despite the restrictions imposed on them by their local government.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Land Use Policy, v. 31, p. 378-384