When Facilities Manager Jim Rainey was tasked with finding ways to implement more sustainable practices in the building he manages, he hatched a plan to replace the property’s water-thirsty grass with a landscape. smart and introduced it to the new management team.
“It was an easy sale. The grass dies every year anyway, and it takes a lot of work to keep it alive, ”said Rainey, who oversees a Cannae Holdings Inc. building on Village Center Circle in Summerlin. Built in 1998, the building’s mature landscape also included shrubs that had seen better days. “After so many years, you can only prune the shrubs before they look like sticks.”
To help offset the costs of the landscape upgrade, Rainey applied for the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) Water Smart Landscapes rebate program, which offers up to $ 3 per square foot for grass replaced by a drip irrigated landscape. The 2,750 square foot conversion has earned landowners a cash incentive of $ 8,250 and saves more than 151,000 gallons of water per year.
“Saving water is a big deal,” Rainey said. In addition to reducing water bills and operating costs for the property, the landscape conversion has also eliminated water wastage caused by over-spraying sprinklers. “On windy days, the wind would just blow the water from the sprinklers onto the grass, wasting water. With drippers around plants and trees, you eliminate water waste and use water more efficiently.
The tenants also expressed their support for improving the landscape. “Everyone is really happy with the result. People said it’s a great place to work, and they’re happy with the change, ”said Rainey.
For homeowners who may be reluctant to remove the grass because it provides greenery or because they don’t know where to start, Rainey noted that desert landscapes can be vibrant and colorful, and they can use plants from the existing landscape. As part of the Village Center Circle upgrade, Rainey has retained dozens of healthy trees and shrubs that continue to provide shade and keep the area surrounding the building lush and green. The aesthetic presentation of the improved landscape includes mature foliage as well as new plants and, of course, drip irrigation.
“You don’t have to start from scratch. What you want to do is capitalize on what you already have and build on that, ”said Rainey, who recommended keeping trees and shrubs healthy. “So you don’t get rid of everything, and at the same time you save water.”
“Jim Rainey is a great example of a champion of water conservation,” said Doug Bennett, conservation director for SNWA. “We need more people like Jim to help homeowners see the benefit of replacing grass with water-efficient landscapes, especially as our community continues to face historic drought and harsh conditions. of shortages that will reduce our community’s water supply by nearly 7 billion gallons by 2022.. “
SNWA has taken important steps to prepare for the scarcity conditions, including building Intake 3 and the lake’s low-level pumping station and storing the unused water in reserve for future use by our community. A new law signed by the governor of Nevada will also help protect the valley’s water supply. Assembly Bill 356 prohibits the use of Colorado River water to irrigate non-functioning sod in streetscapes, medians, parking lots and other lawns not used for recreational purposes. by the end of 2026.
“The amount of water we apply to these areas of decorative turf exceeds the scarcity we face. The solution to balancing our water supply is literally under our feet, ”said Bennett, noting that with the declaration of unprecedented scarcity, business leaders and residents must step up their commitment to conservation. “These efforts will help ensure the long-term economic success of our community.
Find out how you can lower your business operating costs and take advantage of cash incentives by emailing one of SNWA’s business experts at [email protected] or call 702-862-3740.
Members of the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial and press team were not involved in the creation of this content.