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!
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences