There is a commonly believed myth that southern California is a temperate zone, essentially comparing southern California to more seasonal areas like the mid-west in order to describe the weather, then mentioning that the temperatures remain around the same 70-80 degree mark most of the time. This situation makes places like Orange County perfect for growing all sorts of plants, but it is not necessarily based on absolute truth. The reality of the situation is that there is a lack of rainfall in the region that compares it more to a desert, only without the extreme heat that is generally assumed for those regions. Southern California relies upon rainfall in neighboring mountains along with snow, as well as the Colorado River which has been dammed in Nevada, in order to supply drinking water to it’s residents. Basically, the area would be fine in this respect if there were less people living here, but the current population levels severely strain the available drinking water supplies. When a drought situation then complicates things even more, we suddenly have a crisis on our hands. This has been the case for Southern California for several years, and there has not been enough re-supplying of the water sources to sustain the population safely. The shortage of water forces actions to be taken in order to conserve the resource, in order to assure that there is clean drinking water for all, available at all times. This need takes priority over all other uses for the water, essentially meaning that if a choice has to be made between your decorative plants and people, we have to choose the people.
Due to the fact that Orange County areas like Anaheim and Irvine look so green to the casual observer, many would not believe that we are in a water crisis. Unfortunately, this is the case and ultimately it means that watering restrictions placed on your lawn are going to dramatically change the landscape back into the way it would naturally look without human intervention. People will complain as their lawns dry out and turn brown, but this is necessary in order to save the upwards of 50 gallons of water per square foot of grass that is wasted every year on decorative lawns. Between fines and the threat of a complete shutoff of water services for violators who continue to waste, we all must participate in order to conserve for all our own good.
Some people will go above and beyond simply allowing their lawns to die during drought, both for the sake of the general community and for their own desire to save money. These people will explore options like artificial turf and synthetic grass products which will allow them to maintain the green and lush look without the need for watering or care of any kind. Through these kinds of attitude shifts, we find that the modern version of a California residential landscape is both luxurious as well as care-free. It is also responsible, which makes the effort all worth it.