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Californians are now spray-painting their dying, brown yards as drought continues

Grass paint

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(NaturalNews) With California lawns drying up and turning brown due to government-sanctioned water restrictions, a new company has found a way to keep your curb appeal that makes a little "green" for both parties involved.

LawnLift, a lawn painting company that spruces up the look of your grass by giving it an environmentally friendly green coat of paint, is now in demand by homeowners, hoteliers, wedding planners and others who want to improve their curb appeal. Once limited to athletic fields and golf courses, business is now booming as officials look to limit any non-essential use of water.

Paint is considerably cheaper compared to other water preservation options such as artificial turf. It costs about 25 cents per square foot to paint a lawn, which is about $250 for 1,000 square feet. You could also buy a half-gallon of concentrated paint and do it yourself for about $80. In addition to these savings, one should also consider that lawns reduce something called "urban heat load," sequester carbon dioxide in their roots and help reduce dust. If one chose artificial turf, all these benefits go away and things become a lot warmer.

Jim Power, a 45-year-old mortgage broker whose business imploded in 2007, came up with the idea for LawnLift, which uses a nontoxic pigment that is similar to what is used in women's cosmetics. He mixes it with a binder that looks like white Elmer's glue. The paint, which is diluted with water before each use, does not fade or rub off on clothes, and each application lasts up to three months.

One user, Sean McDaniel, says that his water bill has fallen from $100 to $45 since he started painting his lawn in the warmer months two years ago.

Lawns are not the only things that are being sacrificed. California residents have started demolishing pools and cutting back on showers. Golf courses are now tearing out grass in places it won't affect the game, planting drought-resistant vegetation, letting turf turn brown in spots and installing smart watering systems.

If you think that you might want to buck these new sanctions and give your lawn a bit more tender loving care than the water restrictions allow, you just might find yourself the recipient of a $1,000 fine.

These sanctions might indeed be modest as water supplies are on the precipice of disaster. Mired in its fourth year of drought, it is now estimated that a year's worth of drinking water will be left in reservoirs by 2016. Beverly Hills has invoked its highest state of water emergency. Bidwell Canyon Marina on Lake Oroville, California, has levels down 160 feet from the high water mark.

Ed Osann, a water use expert at Natural Resources Defense Council, has stated that California might not even be at the most severe part of the drought yet, and that it could get worse before it gets better. This is a pretty serious warning considering the fact that this is the worst drought since records began.

Last month, Governor Jerry Brown ordered communities to cut water use by 25 percent by early next year. Will that be enough to save California from an unprecedented water crisis in 2016? One thing is for sure: water is a hot commodity right now, and as long as the drought persists, prices for water will continue to go up. As a result, don't expect food to become any cheaper. That glass of water at a restaurant might not be available anymore, or it could come with a hefty price.

At least your lawn can still look good.




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