A new study published by the journal Water Resources Research casts a troubling light on the American fetish for an emerald green lawn.
An intense look at urban landscapes in Los Angeles concluded that some 70 billion gallons of water a year is being lost to evaporation, largely because of over watering of lawns.
Tallahassee-based researcher and co-author Elizaveta Litvak says a decade of field research involving individual tree sensors and satellite data turned up countless surprises.
“The most mind-blowing part was when we discovered that grass was using much more water than trees. Because first my studies were completely focused on trees.”
The study was backed by a grant from the National Science Foundation. Litvak works remotely for the University of Utah.