NewsLocal News


Xeriscape demand higher than ever in Utah amid drought

Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 00:23:50-04

SALT LAKE CITY — More Utahns are looking to xeriscape their yards than ever before.

With the drought conditions, people want to do their part, but demand the demand is maxing out experts.

‘It’s a good problem to have as far as high demand for conservation program,” said Courtney Brown, Conservation Programs Manager.

Read - Cox issues drought state of emergency effective immediately

Courtney Brown with the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District says xeriscaping is an alternative to traditional landscaping that saves water and money.

Utah Water Savers offers a rebate program that has doubled in interest year over year for the past 5 years.

“None of this is new but sometimes it takes a drought to get the message out there,” said Brown.

Brown says if you sign up for their program, try to be patient. The slowdown is due to not enough staff being able to get out to the amount of consultations being requested. But that shouldn’t deter you from signing up to be a part of the localscapes rebate program.

Patience is also required if you’re looking to hire a pro. Timothy Langan of Silver Sage Xeriscape and Design says they are getting more inquiries than they can keep up with.

“We have seen dramatic increase every single year, more so in the last year because of the drought conditions. We used to joke about having an off-season, now we just have a slow season,” said Timothy Langan with Silver Sage Xeriscape and Design.

Read - Strong winds, gusts to be felt across Salt Lake Valley, much of Utah

Whether they get your business or not, their goal is to educate as many people as they can.

“Education is a huge piece of that, Conservation Garden Parks provides a program called Localscapes that we’ve had so many of our clients go through and they feel better when they’re done,” said Langan.

Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro….

“Make sure you understand the principles, it’s good for a homeowner to understand exactly what they want and communicate that to a contractor,” said Brown.

There are several misconceptions about what xeriscaping is all about.

“They want zero maintenance, there’s nothing really that’s zero maintenance, if you look around at even concrete you see weeds coming through,” said Langan.

“People perceive it as meaning a desert landscape with no plants, just all rock or some cactus and a wagon wheel or a cattle skull and that’s not really what it is,” said Brown.

A xeriscaped yard is low maintenance, low cost, and has high curb appeal.

“A xeric landscape or that concept of a waterwise landscape really just means that you are watering efficiently with what you have, using less lawn, drip irrigation, maintaining it properly, using a good design,” said Brown.

Langan says projects can take anywhere from a week or two to complete and will vary in price based on the size of your yard and the kind of design you choose.