The lawns at the Palm Springs International Airport will save millions of gallons of water, putting the airport on course with the city’s sustainability plan to replace some 80 percent of its lawn areas with desertscape. The airport spends about $100,000 a year on water alone to keep its 10 acres of shrubs, planting beds, lawns, and trees moist. Transitioning eight of those acres to a low-water landscape is expected reduce water consumption by at least 50 percent.

“We wanted to achieve the city’s goal for sustainability,” said the airports executive director, Tom Nolan. “The new landscape will use the latest technology in smart irrigation.”

Estimates by the Palm Springs Office of Sustainability conclude transitioning a typical lawn landscape to desert landscape can save 50 to 60 gallons of water per square foot per year.

“Water’s on everybody’s mind,” said Joan Taylor, conservation chair of the local Sierra Club, Tahquitz Group. “And really, the water use in this valley has been so extravagant. It doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone that we need to change our ways.”