A look into water conservation: an evaluation of landscape water regulations

by Schneider, Joseph

Abstract (Summary)
Access to water has always been a critical and often times conflicted issue along

Colorado's Front Range. With current and projected population growth in the state of Colorado

it can be expected that the importance of the issue will only increase. In order to control future

conflicts and costs, communities throughout Colorado have started to update and implement

water conservation programs to address demand and delivery issues. A water demand category

that has been commonly targeted by community water conservation programs is the designed

urban landscape. This study explores the effectiveness of landscape water regulations in urban,

landscaped open space as tools for water conservation.

The study examines the effectiveness of landscape regulations using three landscape

regulations in the city of Colorado Springs. The three landscape regulations represent city and

development landscape regulations and guidelines implemented before and after 1998. The

effectiveness of the three regulations is measured from the results of four evaluations (regulation

composition, landscape design, landscape installation and maintenance, and landscape water use)

that represent the steps necessary for the development and maintenance of water efficient

landscapes. The tool of measure in the four evaluations is the application and enforcement of the

research based Xeriscape principles in the codes, policies, and guidelines found in the three

landscape regulations.

The results indicated that regulation changes that occurred in the City Landscape Code

and Policy Manual in the late 1990's effectively created water conserving landscape regulations.

The post 1998 landscape regulations used a diverse combination of water-wise principles that

were not only suggested by the codes, policies, and guidelines but also enforced through

inspections and submittals. The diversity of water-wise principles in the regulations and the

balance of citations and enforcement were the major elements that reduced water use and

increased conservation in the evaluated landscape tracts.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Kansas State University

School Location:USA - Kansas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:xeriscape landscape regulations water conservation guidelines architecture 0390 urban and regional planning 0999


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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