During Drought, Should People Get Fined for Brown Lawns?

July 28, 2014 | By | Comments (7)
via Flickr

via Flickr

This article about a Glendora couple receiving a warning regarding their brown lawn sure caught our eyes.

Attempting to be responsible in light of California’s severe drought, they stopped watering their grass and got a notice in the mail that they may be cited for a “potential public nuisance” and might be slapped a fine up to $500.

Tell us: Is there a way to save water without bringing down the neighborhood?



  1. sharkbite23

    I don’t think people should be fined for it as there are some water restrictions in place also but I agree with KimC. We had artificial grass installed by a different Perth company http://www.qualitylawnmowingperth.com.au and it looks good all year round!

    February 21, 2015 at 11:00 pm
  2. KimC

    Use artificial lawn. Very popular in Australia where we have water shortages all the time. The one we chose was very realistic, it even had brown bits at the base (only in very small quantities) to make it very realistic. Some brands are too green and look false but most people can’t detect that our “grass” is artificial!
    Check out http://allseasonssyntheticturf.com.au/ (it’s the company we bought from).

    September 7, 2014 at 1:15 pm
  3. Sheila

    It’s a great time to plan a new water-wise landscape, but not a good time to install one so anyone who wants to move away from a thirsty lawn needs to put up with a few more months of ugly. I hope that doesn’t discourage folks who are so accustomed to the quick-fix!

    July 29, 2014 at 6:36 am
  4. The Quaint Gypsy

    This is weird because last week EMWD said it is seeking a way to figure out how to fine people $500 each offense for wasting water; they are working on the legal wording of the ordinance as it is hard to prove someone is “wasting” water but watering lawns should be a clear cut waste of water. Deep trickle soak your trees once a season and they will survive, non- drought tolerant bushes and flowers need a drip system and drought tolerant get their moisture from the dew and fog but in severe heat, a light evening misting can help them survive.

    July 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm
  5. Melinda

    I think HOA’d should be fined for requiring frontlawns and prohibiting clothes lines.

    July 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm
  6. Ellie Bellie

    I couldn’t access Sunset’s article. I do believe dead grass should be replaced w drought resistant landscaping of some kind. Most HOAs require some type of landscaping as opposed to dead grass, and rules are most likely changing throughout this drought. Personally, I love the different sages and lavenders, etc–there are hundreds of choices and landscaped my yard as such over 20 years ago. You get butterflies, hummingbirds, songbirds…lovely.

    July 28, 2014 at 11:56 am
  7. WillieFDiazSF

    Same thing happened in the 1980s in the city I lived as a kid, Milpitas California, we were rationed and limited to 100 Gallons PER PERSON PER MONTH. Thats how bad it got. We were not allowed to water our grass either. We moved into a rental house, with beautiful grass, my parents selected it cause I was a kid, and they wanted me to play outside more, but the owner of the house, tilled the grass under, the day before we moved in, then said, “The city fines them if we cant keep the grass green, and with the water limits, I decided a brown dirt patch was better” – ironically, dead grass was not legal, but brown dirt was. It was gross, and weeds sprang up and it was hell for 4 years we lived there.

    July 28, 2014 at 11:28 am

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