Business is blooming for the synthetic turf industry. In California, the drought has sent water rates soaring and increased the awareness of reducing water consumption. Homeowners are looking for more ways to transform their lawns into drought-conscious landscapes. As a result, they are turning to artificial turf.
According to researchers at University of California, Irvine, approximately 34,000 gallons of water--or 670 bathtubs full of water--is needed annually to maintain the average lawn. The Southern Nevada Water Authority calculates that for every square foot of natural grass replaced with artificial turf, 55 gallons of water could be saved each year.
In addition, an increasing amount of cities are beginning to promote lawn-removal rebate programs. These programs offer residents between $2 to $4 rebates for every square foot of live turf they replace. Residents are catching on, and artificial turf companies are sowing the benefits.;
DuraTurf, an artificial turf supplier whose West Coast headquarters is in Torrance, California, sold 625,000 square feet of turf in Southern California alone last year. They are on track to double those sales this year.
The annual revenue for Earth Design Landscape, Redondo Beach, California, has jumped from less than $300,000 in 2012 to more than $2.5 million in the first nine months of 2014.
Artificial grass provides a green space instead of plain concrete when shifting to drought-conscious yards. But drought awareness is not the only reason people are switching to fake grass. The quality and appearance of the synthetic turf have improved dramatically since the first major installation went into the Houston Astrodome in 1966. The 21st century turf has a more realistic look and softer surface. And it’s cheaper than concrete, according to Chris Hayman of Earth Design Landscape.