Lawn replacement to support annual water savings of more than to 2 million gallons
BOULDER CITY, Nev. – The Bureau of Reclamation today broke ground signaling the start of a project to remove the lawn at the Lower Colorado Basin Region administration building and install water-saving xeriscaping to the grounds.
The project, funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also includes transition from grass to xeriscape at the agency’s training center. It is estimated to save more than two million gallons of Colorado River water annually.
“As Reclamation prepares to offer funding opportunities for similar projects to replace lawns and high water use landscaping with xeriscape that is native to the Southwest, we are looking internally for changes we can make to reduce water use,” said Deputy Regional Director David Arend. “This project will significantly reduce our water use and transition the landscape to blend in with the surrounding desert.”
Reclamation expects to begin construction in March and finish in late-June. The project will replace the lawn and associated turf surrounding the facilities with low water usage vegetation, including drought-tolerant and native trees, shrubs, and plants and ensures accessibility under the Americans with Disability Act.
When completed, the regional office grounds will feature a meandering composite path surrounded by small groves of native plants, trees and shrubs. Other improvements to the sites include elevated community gathering spots, drip and low-pressure irrigation systems, and interpretive signs profiling the native vegetation and historic artifacts placed at the site.
Reclamation also plans to upgrade the irrigation systems to improve site maintenance. The new irrigation system at the administration building will not use municipal water; instead, it will use raw water from a pipeline in Park Street. The agency is evaluating the feasibility of using an existing raw water pipeline near the training center xeriscape area.
Reclamation recently completed an Environmental Assessment of the project and signed a Finding of No Significant Impact on Feb. 13, 2023. The agency evaluated potential impacts of removing the existing turf, trees, and other vegetation at both locations. The final EA and FONSI are available at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g2000/envdocs.html.