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As Nevada's water supply decreases, researchers study landscapes that best conserve water

homes, landscapes, yards
Desert Research Institute

Water is Nevada’s biggest concern.  

As our water supply in Leak Mead continues to decrease; Nevada is forced to conserve as much water as possible.  

Last year, the state enacted a new law banning all non-functional grass in office parks, streets, and housing developments. That doesn’t apply to single-family homes and parks.  

While that’s coming, Nevada and Arizona researchers have looked into different kinds of landscapes to determine which one conserves water the best. 

Three different types of landscapes were studied. Rubab Saher, a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Hydrologic Sciences at the Desert Research Institute cleverly used different types of cars to describe the otherwise fancy names for the landscapes. 

Landscape A is the gas car; the one that requires the most irrigation for its plants. Landscape B is the hybrid car; the one that provides a balance between water use and conservation. Finally, Landscape C is the electric car; the one that conserves the most water. 

However, conserving water isn't the only thing that was on the researcher's minds. Buildings, and an already dry climate like Nevada's can increase the urban heat island effect in neighborhoods. Landscapes that contain water conserving plants, and that use less structures are more likely to produce a cooling effect and in turn make an environment less hot. 

To hear the entire conversation with researcher, Rubab Saher, click the play button above.  

Rubab Saher, Post-Doctoral Research Associate in Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute. 

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Christopher Alvarez is a news producer and podcast audio editor at Nevada Public Radio for the State of Nevada program, and has been with them for over a year.