Landscaping and water use : a look at outdoor watering practices and water consumption in Sherwood Park, Alberta
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Municipal water conservation programs often highlight water-wise landscaping as a method to reduce household water consumption. To determine if any relationships between landscaping and home water consumption exist in Strathcona County, Alberta, water consumption data for two neighbourhoods was collected. GIS mapping was used to compare these results with percentages of lawn and yard areas. Indoor and outdoor water use practices were explored through a door-to-door survey. Lawn size was found to have an impact on outdoor water consumption, per metre squared, with small lawns being the largest water users per area. No matter what vegetation is planted on the landscape, the size of yard also resulted in summer water use increases. Outside of programs to reduce lawn area, Strathcona County and other cold-climate communities could also look at behaviours such as frequency of watering and use of rain barrels to reduce summer water use.
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