California Promotes Water-Efficient Yards amid Drought

November 4, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. drought /draʊt/ (n.) – a situation in which water supply is limited for a long time
Example: Countries with high temperature are prone to experiencing drought.

2. lawn /lɔn/ (n.) – area of grass-covered land usually in gardens and parks
ExampleLawns in golf courses are expensive to maintain.

3. landscape /ˈlændˌskeɪp/ (n.) – a land area’s appearance and features
Example: Farm houses usually have a nice landscape.

4. impose /ɪmˈpoʊz/ (v.) – to require something to someone, often as an order or rule
Example: The governor imposed limitations on water usage.

5. move on /muv ɒn/ (phrasal v.) – to get past or change view on something
Example: Some residents moved on from having an extravagant lifestyle.


Read the text below.
California plans to fight extreme drought by launching conservation programs that promote water-efficient gardens.

Fancy lawns have been customary among Americans. However, the scarcity of water supply in California has made it impractical to use loads of water just to sustain the beauty of a house landscape. Thus, the state thought of providing incentives for people who change their yards into a more environment-friendly one.

In Los Angeles, a program called “Cash in Your Lawn” offers its citizens $3 for every square foot of grass that will be removed or replaced with rocks, pebbles, and plants that do not need much water. Lot owners can earn up to $6,000 by converting their lawns.

Aside from the incentives, California governor Jerry Brown took further steps by prohibiting residents from watering their lawns more than twice in a week. He also temporarily removed the charges some communities impose on homeowners with extremely dry lawns. Some homeowner associations implement this rule to promote good image within their neighborhood.

A landscape service company owner, Anne Phillips, said that people should move on from traditional landscapes with expensive lawns. However, she clarified that water-efficient landscapes do not always mean dry and dull yards. She recommended plants like herbs, succulents [SUHK-yuh-luh nt], agaves [uh-GAH-vees], and lavenders as good options for a water-efficient yet attractive yard. Also, she suggested using a special watering system that releases water in a minimal way instead of automatic sprinklers.

The drought in California is running for three years now and continues to threaten its citizens. Because of this condition, deserts and dry gardens are becoming common sceneries in most areas nowadays.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you approve of the Cash in Your Lawn initiative? Why or why not?
·         If you were the governor of California, what would you do to fight the drought? Kindly discuss.

Discussion B

·         What do you think causes limited water supply? Kindly explain.
·         Please describe an instance of water shortage in your community or country.

November 4, 2014