Location: SCR 352
Hidden Value of Landscapes Study
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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09:33 AM -- Hidden Value of Landscapes Study
John McMahon, Executive Director, Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, introduced himself to the committee and provided a brief background of his organization. Mr. MacMahon distribute a copy of the study completed by Colorado State University in conjunction with the Associate Landscape Contractors of Colorado, "The Hidden Value of Landscapes: Implications for Drought Planning" (Attachment A).
Zach Johnson, Associate Professor, Colorado State University, introduced himself to the committee and discussed the recent study completed by the University, "The Hidden Value of Landscapes: Implications for Drought Planning." Mr. Johnson explained that the study was based off a white paper prepared by the state of California and stated that 3 percent of Colorado's water is used on landscaping. Mr. Johnson discussed the importance of conservation in the state and recent conservation efforts in the state, such as tiered water pricing, new technologies, and planting native plants in landscaping. He discussed carbon sequestration and how a large tree canopy can help to restrict carbon from entering the atmosphere.
Alison O'Connor, Extension Agent, Colorado State University Extension, introduced herself to the committee and discussed the importance of wildlife in landscapes. She discussed the recent trends in golf courses becoming Audubon landscapes and wildlife refuges in some cases. She discussed the importance of landscaping to property value and general quality of life.
Mr. Johnson continued the discussion on the study and explained why planning for drought in developing landscapes is important. He discussed recommendations for elected officials, water providers, and landscape managers in order to plan for drought more efficiently. These recommendations include: putting clear drought policies and plans in place before a drought occurs; basing drought policies on science and research-based horticultural best management practices (BPMs); prioritizing the watering of trees and large shrubs and the watering of sports and recreational fields; providing financial incentives for water consumers to implement water-saving technology prior to droughts; and establishing budgets to repair watering infrastructure.
Ms. O'Connor discussed the importance of education for the conservation of water and in preparing for drought.
Mr. McMahon responded to questions from the committee regarding the availability of landscape designers. Mr. Johnson responded to questions from the committee regarding ways in which water consumers can conserve water while still using vegetation and grass. Ms. O'Connor responded to questions from the committee.