Parts of Nevada Banning 'Non-Functional' Grass

Nevada is first state to permanently ban lawns in certain areas
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2021 1:18 AM CDT
Las Vegas Valley Banning 'Non-Functional' Grass
In this April 9, 2021, file photo, traffic passes a grassy landscape on Green Valley Parkway in suburban Henderson, Nev.   (AP Photo/Ken Ritter, File)

Grass that's just sitting around, serving no purpose, will soon be prohibited in the Las Vegas Valley. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday signed legislation banning "non-functional turf" starting in 2027, the AP reports. Backyards and front lawns aren't going anywhere—single-family homes are exempt from the new law, as are golf courses and parks—but locals will be saying goodbye to the grass that sits between roads and sidewalks, or on medians and in traffic circles, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. Also on the way out: decorative grass outside certain buildings including housing developments and businesses. The move comes as Nevada endures a drought that has gone on for two decades with no end in sight.

Lake Mead supplies around 90% of southern Nevada's water, and it's at a record low—the first federally declared water shortage for the lake could arrive by August. "It’s incumbent upon us for the next generation to be more conscious of conservation and our natural resources—water being particularly important," Sisolak said last week. The bill, which passed with bipartisan support, will eliminate about 6 square miles of grass, or 31% of the grass in the Las Vegas area, and is expected to conserve about 11 gallons of water per person per day in the region, which has a population of 2.3 million. While other areas of the US have temporarily banned lawns, Nevada becomes the first state to enact a permanent ban. (More Nevada stories.)

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