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No Rain, All Gain: Three Unexpected Benefits of Going “Blue”

L.A. is leagues ahead of other cities with water conservation efforts. The “blue” movement is the latest shade of local eco-activism. Here’s how early adopters can ride the wave:

Changing Landscapes
Approximately 40 percent of potable water goes to landscaping in L.A. But in a few years all that H2O-sucking grass will look as painfully outdated as a mink coat. The Department of Water and Power’s “Cash In Your Lawn” program pays residents $2 for every square foot of yard planted with drought-resistant seeds, which means the de rigueur front yard will feature irises, agaves, and sage—and a water bill reduction of hundreds of dollars.

Liquid Courage
A gallon of wine requires more than 1,000 gallons of water, mostly to irrigate the grapes. Look for dry-farmed California vineyards such as Tablas Creek or Frog’s Leap, which rely on moisture-retaining soil. At the Bear Republic brewery, roughly three gallons of water are used for every gallon of beer, which is half the amount of other labels.

Eau De Toilet
You wouldn’t drink from the water closet, but purified agua drawn from the sewage pipe could generate 800 billion gallons of clean water. Facilities in the O.C. are practically there.