Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Santa Fe homeowners weigh in on landscape preferences

21.09.2010
Residents' water conservation, plant choices may aid urban planners

While municipalities may mandate communitywide water conservation measures, individuals—particularly homeowners—can make significant contributions to water conservation in urban environments. Hoping to provide urban planners with more information about how residents' landscape preferences affect municipal water supplies, a team from New Mexico State University surveyed homeowners in Santa Fe about their attitudes toward high desert plants. Rolston St. Hilaire, Dawn M. VanLeeuwen, and Patrick Torres reported on their study of residents' preferences for urban landscapes and water conservation strategies in a recent issue of HortTechnology.

The survey contained questions about homeowners' perceptions of desert plants, trees, and grass lawns in home landscapes; willingness to change current home landscapes; opinions on current water use practices; and factors that could affect their willingness to reduce water use. "Santa Fe, a city that boasts a long history of water conservation efforts, also has one of the highest water usage rates in the United States for a city of its size", noted the researchers.

According to the survey, almost one-third of the respondents agreed that high desert plants are not their favorite varieties. "However, most Santa Fe residents are satisfied with these plants, indicating that they provide the type of landscape they desire", observed the researchers. They added that 64% of residents agreed that high desert plants provided the variety they needed in their residential landscapes, and 92% of residents would use high desert plants to landscape their front yard. Homeowners had a strong preference for retaining their current desert landscapes and converting traditional landscapes to high desert-adapted landscapes.

When homeowners who irrigated their landscapes were asked what factors would cause them to use less water, the most selected option—chosen by 94% of respondents—was "water shortages". Interestingly, the study found that the longer people have been residents of a desert environment, the less likely they are to adopt a water-conserving landscape.

The research team sees implications for city officials when it comes to selecting effective water conservation strategies. "This research clearly indicates that the fear of water shortage is one of the most important factors that will get communities to reduce landscape water use in the high desert regions of New Mexico. Therefore, municipalities must craft public education water conservation programs that show or even simulate water shortages as a possible consequence of apathy to water conservation in the urban environment", the study concluded.

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortTechnology electronic journal web site: http://horttech.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/20/2/308

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org

Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ashs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta

nachricht Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>