|The root of xeriscaping|
The term “xeriscape,” coined in 1981, is a combination of the Greek word “xeros,” which means “dry,” and the modern word “landscape.” It technically is a registered trademark of Denver Water, the water utility for the city and county of Denver, but has fallen into common usage in recent years. The term came out of a task force, which included Denver Water as well as members of academia and green industries. The task force came up with seven principles of landscaping to conserve water and protect the environment. Since then, many cities and counties in the Western and Southern United States have adopted the principles and now require developers to follow them.
According to Xeriscape Colorado, a program of the Colorado Waterwise Council, more than 50 percent of residential water goes to landscaping and lawns throughout most of the Western United States. However, xeriscaping measures, such as reducing water waste, using proper irrigation techniques and using native and low-water plants, can reduce water usage by 60 percent or more. Furthermore, according to the Xeriscape Colorado, a good xeriscape can increase property values by 15 percent and reduce water and maintenance costs by as much as 60 percent.
For more information on xeriscaping, check out www.xeriscape.org.
– Missy Votel