Hoping to save water, Georgetown moves forward with lawn size restrictions

Smaller lawns on the menu for new Georgetown homes.
Smaller lawns on the menu for new Georgetown homes.

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — As the number of people moving to Georgetown continues to grow, the City is taking measures to make sure there is enough water for the ever-growing population.

On Tuesday night, the Georgetown City Council approved limiting the lawn size of new homes being built within city limits.

In the new ordinance, the irrigated turf area of the lawn would be limited to 2.5 times the foundation footprint area of the home or 10,000 square feet, whichever is less. The limit does not apply to non-irrigated space such as natural areas or flower beds.

The irrigated turf area will also be required to have six inches of soil, which allows for less frequent watering of turf grass and reduces run-off. Areas of a residential lot left in its natural state would be exempt from the soil depth requirement.

“Our average use right now is about 218 gallons per person, per day,” said Georgetown utility manager Jim Briggs. “The target of this initiative is to get to about 160 gallons.”

While many people like the lush qualities of Saint Augustine, the new ordinance only allows for Saint Augustine to be used in shady areas of a lawn.

Briggs wants to reach that water reduction goal by 2030 and says some developers have already started building homes with water conservation in mind.

The rules do not apply to current homes or residences.

In Austin, residents can get money back for making their lawns ‘water wise.’

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