Arid Southwest Cities’ Plea: Lose the Lawn

This is how officials here feel about grass these days: since 2009, the city has paid $1.4 million to homeowners willing to rip out their front lawns and plant less thirsty landscaping.

At least the lawns are still legal here. Grass front yards are banned at new developments in Las Vegas, where even the grass medians on the Strip have been replaced with synthetic turf.

In Austin, Tex., lawns are allowed; watering them, however, is not — at least not before sunset. Police units cruise through middle-class neighborhoods hunting for sprinklers running in daylight and issuing $475 fines to their owners.

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