More Residents Turn To Fake Grass To Save Water

Experts Say Using Artificial Turf Will Mean Less Watering

SAN DIEGO — Despite California’s drought being declared over and the lifting of local water restrictions, experts say more can be done to conserve.

One adjustment thousands of Southern California residents have made is going green by replacing their real grass with artificial turf.

Officials with Vista-based EasyTurf said they have more than 8,000 satisfied customers. EasyTurf officials said the synthetic grass industry is skyrocketing around the country, especially in California where water is a rare commodity.

“People don’t want to water. They don’t want to have to pay the gardener. They don’t want to take care of it themselves,” said EasyTurf Director of Marketing Jackie Luper.

Business from contractors, developers and private individuals has remained steady despite several area water districts lifting restrictions on outdoor watering.

“You know the consumers are there, the demand is there,” said Luper.

Tony Criss of AJ Criss Industries said calls for the fake grass to his landscaping company have increased 25 percent even though people can run their sprinklers all they want. The problem with doing that is the cost of water, which increased more than 40 percent for some people, has remained the same.

“This is something that I think people are finally realizing that we have to do something and that’s certainly a way to do it,” said Criss.

Home builders like Colrich are keeping up the awareness by displaying artificial turf in some of their new models in Carlsbad.

“Well, we just think long term it’s going to be very important and critical to San Diego,” said builder Kirk Philo.

Developers and builders said it’s important to remember San Diego will always be a desert.
“We know that within the next few years that we’re going to get right back into the same situation,” said Criss.