Water conservation experts say Las Vegas has been cutting water usage the past two decades by targeting grass. They've been replacing it with rocks, desert plants and artificial turf. "We have removed more than 200 million square feet of grass and collectively saved more than 170 billion gallons of water simply by taking out grass that nobody is using," said Bronson Mack, a Nevada water official. The water supply for Nevada and millions of people is threatened by a huge drop in the Colorado River’s flow and reservoirs.
Class discussion: Is it a waste of water, energy, time and money to maintain a big grass lawn only used as a decoration? Are we still trying to copy those 18th century European aristocrats who showed off their wealth by turning their valuable land into elaborate lawns and gardens? Do we spend hours working on our lawns just because our neighbors do the same? Or, does it somehow add to the value of our property? Is the grass we use in our yards even native to North America? Do thirsty grass lawns belong in any desert climate?