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Article claims that it's a Utah Mormon's religious duty to water their grass.


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32 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

California is possibly the worst offender but the entire southwest has been living on borrowed time when it comes to water. When Glen Canyon Dam was first built and they assigned water rights they fudged the numbers to be too high even before climate change and demand just keeps increasing as supply keeps falling. Everyone ignored the problem because who wants to the be the alarmist?

Yep. I think the only solution is to dig a canal down from the Columbia River. 

 

1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

We just moved to Utah from Arizona.  Many of the yards in the metro-Phoenix area (where it's hot and arid) utilize some form of xeriscaping (including the house we moved from) and the yards in the Salt Lake City area seem to be exactly opposite of that.  On my morning walks through our new neighborhood, I'm constantly dodging wet sidewalks and sprinklers (for all the grass watering) and I jump over water running down the gutters due to overflow from the yards.  I have observed meticulously maintained and manicured grass yards in almost all of the houses in the two-square mile area that I have walked.  So it seems to be a Utah thing, and it's definitely not limited to members of the church, because my non-member neighbor has a beautiful grass yard that he's out mowing at least (what seems to me to be) twice a week.  

There's a Utah Water Savers program in place where the municipalities will give home owners a rebate for removing lawn from their park strip and replacing it for a water efficient design (we will be taking advantage of that).  But I recently heard on KSL that Salt Lake City Public Utilities was offering a lower water grass seed for sale (it is supposed to require 30% less water than typical Bluegrass lawns), but they sold out of it already.  So apparently a lot of people in Utah are addicted to grass.   (I can't complain, it is beautiful.  It's just not what I am accustomed to where I came from.)

OK……

Edited by Bernard Gui
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17 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Well...you do know about the great salt lake though. That's a scary situation..

Yes, and I remember the Great Salt Lake level being so alarmingly high that the state built massive pumps to draw the water out and dump it onto the West Desert. Then, the lake began to recede again, and the pumps were left to sit and rust. 
 

As I said, it goes in cycles. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Just now, Scott Lloyd said:

Yes, and I remember the Great Salt Lake level being so alarmingly high that the state built massive pumps to draw the water out and dump onto the West Desert. Then, the lake began to recede again, and the pumps were left to sit and rust. 
 

As I said, it goes in cycles. 

Yes, I was around back then. But the lake has never been this low and there could be a serious problem if we don't figure it out very soon, depending on the arsenic in the ground that would kick up from being too dry. Hopefully the rains we received recently helped, but doubt it. You hopefully believe in climate change Scott. 

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4 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Yes, I was around back then. But the lake has never been this low and there could be a serious problem if we don't figure it out very soon, depending on the arsenic in the ground that would kick up from being too dry. Hopefully the rains we received recently helped, but doubt it. You hopefully believe in climate change Scott. 

Yes, I see the climate change four times a year — with each change in season. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

But there’s not a religious component to that preference, and it’s reverse provincialism bordering on religious bigotry for the Guardian or anyone else to suggest that there is. 

I would argue (and was arguing but okay, I'll admit the post was probably too subtle) that it's obvious the article was written by a religious bigot. The writer is firmly in the middle of uninformed bigot territory and is wandering about without a border in sight.

Strike One: The article blatantly ignored the Church Newsroom guidelines about what we should be called, repeatedly ignored the guidelines and went out of it's way to use "Mormon" as often as possible in broad, general strokes. Friendly or even neutral news writers don't do that.

Strike Two: They make a positive assertion about member beliefs, but fail to quote or reference any actual members saying or writing that we equate grass to "blossoming as a rose" or feel that wasting water is necessary to fulfill prophecy.

The only named quotes they provided were from members who stated positions exactly the opposite of what they were presenting as a majority belief in Utah. A very weird way of supporting your point IMHO.

I think you could safely contend that both members and non-members in the Wasatch Valley neighborhoods, at least those built before 2010, have grassy yards. That evidence is noticeable by simple inspection. Newer neighborhoods and other towns that don't have convenient rivers flowing past in large canals show larger swatches of xeriscaped territory.

But in my neighborhood, and in the Localscapes classes I've attended, when you talk to people about xeriscaped yards, what you hear is...

1. We are working on converting our entire yard/parking strip/front yard.

2.  We want to, but can't afford it yet.

3. We want to, but haven't had time to get rid of the grass yet.

4. I just don't like the looks of rock yards but we planted some lower water use grass!

No one has mentioned any religious imperative to keep the desert blossoming as a rose. 

I've had lots of these conversations because I turned off the sprinklers when we moved into our new house and let the grass go dormant, then started looking into local incentives to help pay for a xeriscape conversion. (There are many.)

My neighbors haven't been super happy about the brown grass, but we put up a "Localscapes" sign and now they just discuss my xeriscaping plans (lots of interest about WHEN I'll have it done. 😮💨) I'm pretty sure if any of them were religiously opposed to the idea of rocks and low water use ground cover, they would have mentioned it. But most are intrigued by what we are doing because they are kicking around the idea as well.

Which is why I'm pretty sure the writer of the article didn't wear out any shoes talking to actual members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the subject. Must have only talked to a bunch of oddly nameless, imaginatively stereotyped, "Utah Mormons." (I put quotes around it this time to keep Incognitus happy. 😁)

 

 

Edited by Emily
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9 minutes ago, blackstrap said:

I remember stories about the Great Salt Lake being so high at one time that it was possible to jump out of the temple windows right into it. 😁

Hopefully not carrying the gold plates that are hidden in the basement. That would make you sink pretty fast, even in salt water...

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4 minutes ago, JarMan said:
44 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Well...you do know about the great salt lake though. That's a scary situation..

It’s just a bunch of fear mongering to sell papers (generate clicks) and push an agenda. 

Well see. The article should have been ...

"Study demonstrates a person's politics can be determined by the color of his grass."

(Not religious beliefs, mind you, politics.) 

😝

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51 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Well...you do know about the great salt lake though. That's a scary situation..

I posted this already earlier in the thread, but take a look at these images, year by year, of the water levels of the Great Salt Lake:    Great Salt Lake Water Levels - The Lake is constantly changing.  

It is currently at a dangerously low level, but as you can see in that link, the year-by-year water levels have fluctuated up and down.

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42 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Yes, and I remember the Great Salt Lake level being so alarmingly high that the state built massive pumps to draw the water out and dump it onto the West Desert. Then, the lake began to recede again, and the pumps were left to sit and rust. 
 

As I said, it goes in cycles. 

I’ve been to that pump house multiple times. It’s impressive. They definitely weren’t left to rust but from what I’ve heard it’ll take a million dollars to get them running again if they are ever needed. Hopefully they will get the chance someday. 

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:
1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

We just moved to Utah from Arizona.  Many of the yards in the metro-Phoenix area (where it's hot and arid) utilize some form of xeriscaping (including the house we moved from) and the yards in the Salt Lake City area seem to be exactly opposite of that.  On my morning walks through our new neighborhood, I'm constantly dodging wet sidewalks and sprinklers (for all the grass watering) and I jump over water running down the gutters due to overflow from the yards.  I have observed meticulously maintained and manicured grass yards in almost all of the houses in the two-square mile area that I have walked.  So it seems to be a Utah thing, and it's definitely not limited to members of the church, because my non-member neighbor has a beautiful grass yard that he's out mowing at least (what seems to me to be) twice a week.  

There's a Utah Water Savers program in place where the municipalities will give home owners a rebate for removing lawn from their park strip and replacing it for a water efficient design (we will be taking advantage of that).  But I recently heard on KSL that Salt Lake City Public Utilities was offering a lower water grass seed for sale (it is supposed to require 30% less water than typical Bluegrass lawns), but they sold out of it already.  So apparently a lot of people in Utah are addicted to grass.   (I can't complain, it is beautiful.  It's just not what I am accustomed to where I came from.)

Expand  

The global warming alarmists won’t like me for saying this, but droughts in Utah are cyclical. We’ll get back to a trend of wet seaons, and then I, for one, would regret having dug up my lawn. 

I'm a "cyclical" believer, but also a "climate change" believer. If climates never changed, we wouldn't be living in the Salt Lake Valley because it would still be an ocean. Granted, climate change is usually fairly slow and not always noticeable if you aren't tracking readings over a long period of time (barring volcanic explosions or asteroid strikes) but it still occurs. We can remain cyclic, but our dry cycles can be longer and our wet cycles shorter, which will affect overall water supply. Data suggests that is happening (longer dry, shorter wet) in the Salt Lake Valley.

But even if our water supply remains constant, our population is NOT constant. I'm just moved to Utah, and I'm using water. Feels like half of California moved in with me. They also use water. The Wasatch area was already straining it's water supply before we all showed up. So either Utahns close their borders (a decade too late for that), or we all need to use less water per capita so we aren't "spending more than we make", hopefully voluntarily. The only other option is involuntary restrictions and that never makes people happy.

Getting rid of grass is an effective and fairly easy method of reducing water use that has little to no effect on our overall lifestyle. At least with a front lawn that is only there for appearance. If a family uses their front yard to hold picnics, feed sheep, or play soccer, then fine, grass makes sense. If it's just growing to look pretty, then there are other pretty options that take less water.

I also think the idea that you shouldn't get rid of grass now, because there might be a trend of wet seasons in the future, is akin to not putting on a sweater when it's 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside, because it will be spring in a couple of months. We've got a drought right now. If we suffer a deluge in the future, grass is extremely easy to replace.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, bluebell said:

There's an article in The Guardian that claims that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah are bleeding the state dry because we believe that it's a commandment to "make the desert blossom as a rose". 

Uh, what?

I've lived here for almost 9 years (9 in October) and I have never heard this spouted by anyone, member or not.  It's not a concept that is even on my radar.  So I have to ask, are there members that actually believe/teach that we have to keep watering our lawns to be obedient to God?  I'm up here in Davis county (and our town saved so much water last year that the city is still talking about how amazing we did with letting our lawns die) and I'm not seeing it but maybe it's more south that this attitude prevails?  

I honestly have no idea.  Does this ring a bell with anyone?  Do Latter-day Saints love a green lawn more than people anywhere else in the country?

(I only quoted the first few paragraphs of the article so feel free to check out the link and read the whole thing).

 

This person really reached for their "it's really the mormons" reasoning. Like we're somehow special to all the rest of the US that seem to exploit natural resources to the detriment of the environment. Most articles I've read about this point to more practical culplrits. First and foremost a water budget pact made 100 years ago that was completely unrealistic to how much water is available in the west. Then comes other concerns: intensive farming that promotes water waste (that's the majority of UT's water use), industries reliant on water sources, and then urban sprawl/developments that's been slow to change what is deemed "beautiful," focused on a northern european aesthetic that was dependent on a temperate climate and is hard to kill. I'm seeing more lawns that are putting in more water-wise yard planning, but it's a slow shift I'd say more due to inertia and lack of negative reasons to change (say from higher water bills for example).  

But sure...it's some sort of commandment. That's what has us hooked on the wet stuff. Why not? 🙄 

Most places I've lived have a thing for lawns....utah or no. They're intrinsically tied with what people picture as a manicured yard in most the US. This goes especially with places with HOA's. This is changing, though slowly, and not without a bit of push back from the people who love lawns. Something I'll never fully understand. 

 

With luv,

BD

 

Edited by BlueDreams
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1 hour ago, JarMan said:

It’s just a bunch of fear mongering to sell papers (generate clicks) and push an agenda. 

Yeah, the agenda of water conservation. Which is a good agenda to push since the entire southwest is running low on water but we keep building up cities in the middle of deserts and growing water intensive crops in the desert.

67329668.jpg

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

I’ve been to that pump house multiple times. It’s impressive. They definitely weren’t left to rust but from what I’ve heard it’ll take a million dollars to get them running again if they are ever needed. Hopefully they will get the chance someday. 

Yeah, after I posted that, I did go to Google and find a KUTV article on the pump stations. They do maintain them at an annual cost of $10,000 or so. They consider it flood insurance. They don’t expect to use them again, but one never knows. I frankly believe they will be used again someday, and we’ll be glad they were kept in mothballs and not just abandoned. 

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1 hour ago, Emily said:

I'm a "cyclical" believer, but also a "climate change" believer. If climates never changed, we wouldn't be living in the Salt Lake Valley because it would still be an ocean. Granted, climate change is usually fairly slow and not always noticeable if you aren't tracking readings over a long period of time (barring volcanic explosions or asteroid strikes) but it still occurs. We can remain cyclic, but our dry cycles can be longer and our wet cycles shorter, which will affect overall water supply. Data suggests that is happening (longer dry, shorter wet) in the Salt Lake Valley.

But even if our water supply remains constant, our population is NOT constant. I'm just moved to Utah, and I'm using water. Feels like half of California moved in with me. They also use water. The Wasatch area was already straining it's water supply before we all showed up. So either Utahns close their borders (a decade too late for that), or we all need to use less water per capita so we aren't "spending more than we make", hopefully voluntarily. The only other option is involuntary restrictions and that never makes people happy.

Getting rid of grass is an effective and fairly easy method of reducing water use that has little to no effect on our overall lifestyle. At least with a front lawn that is only there for appearance. If a family uses their front yard to hold picnics, feed sheep, or play soccer, then fine, grass makes sense. If it's just growing to look pretty, then there are other pretty options that take less water.

I also think the idea that you shouldn't get rid of grass now, because there might be a trend of wet seasons in the future, is akin to not putting on a sweater when it's 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside, because it will be spring in a couple of months. We've got a drought right now. If we suffer a deluge in the future, grass is extremely easy to replace.

 

 

 

The trouble with the leftist slur “climate change denier” (I prefer the descriptor “climate change skeptic”) is that it is misleadingly inaccurate. I don’t know of anyone who denies the existence of climate change. The question seems to be if it really is occurring on such a scale and with such urgency that we need to ruin entire economies to deal with it, a la the “green new deal” (we’ve got about eight years to go now on AOC’s “world will end in 12 years” doomsday prophecy). 
 

As for putting on a sweater, I’ve seen enough wet/dry cycles come and go in Utah to believe a return to the wet is not only inevitable but sooner than most people think. The memory of flood waters being diverted as a river down North Temple Street in downtown Salt Lake City in the 1980s is still fresh in my mind. 
 

There are enough places to put my cash right now — new roof, floor coverings — that I’m disinclined to spend several thousand dollars on remaking the yard right now, only to be missing the lawn a few years hence. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Yeah, the agenda of water conservation. Which is a good agenda to push since the entire southwest is running low on water but we keep building up cities in the middle of deserts and growing water intensive crops in the desert.

67329668.jpg

It turns out that building cities actually decreases water consumption. It takes less water to grow people than to grow crops. But the agenda being pushed is all about decreasing or eliminating growth. It’s really inconvenient to the  anti-growth agenda that growth actually saves water. So they put forth all manner of lies and obfuscation. As a super relevant example, the article cited in the OP is full of factual inaccuracies about water use in Utah. 

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57 minutes ago, JarMan said:

It turns out that building cities actually decreases water consumption.

Ummmm…..wrong.

57 minutes ago, JarMan said:

It takes less water to grow people than to grow crops.

And as long as those people don’t have to eat any food this plan is foolproof. Just have to convince everyone to become breatharians…..and somehow not die.

58 minutes ago, JarMan said:

But the agenda being pushed is all about decreasing or eliminating growth.

Evil Agenda Plan:
1: Slow economic growth.
2: ????
3: PROFIT!!!!

What is step 2 though?

1 hour ago, JarMan said:

It’s really inconvenient to the  anti-growth agenda that growth actually saves water.

If we had an infinite amount of people on earth we would have an infinite amount of water? I think the laws of physics and economics are both really inconvenient to your anti-sanity agenda.

1 hour ago, JarMan said:

So they put forth all manner of lies and obfuscation. As a super relevant example, the article cited in the OP is full of factual inaccuracies about water use in Utah. 

Thank you for your vague, undefined, and meaningless “super relevant example”. 

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14 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Ummmm…..wrong.

And as long as those people don’t have to eat any food this plan is foolproof. Just have to convince everyone to become breatharians…..and somehow not die.

The context, here, which would be good for you to remember, is the impact to the Great Salt Lake. It’s indisputable (at least to those who understand the issue) that replacing irrigated land with cities provides a net increased flow to the lake. I can bore you with an in-depth analysis of the numbers, but I won’t, unless you persist in showing your ignorance of the issue.

22 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Thank you for your vague, undefined, and meaningless “super relevant example”. 

Oh, you want specifics? Well I’m glad you asked. The article claims Utah uses more water for municipal use than any other state. What’s not pointed out in the article is that they’re not comparing apples to apples. Utah’s water use numbers (unlike other state numbers) includes outdoor use. When you look at indoor use (which is what other state’s report) Utah is actually not doing too bad. Also claimed is that Utah is using hundreds of thousands of acre feet to water lawns. This is a blatant lie that is clearly contradicted by the data.

Please let me know what other issues I can help you understand regarding water use in Utah. Today is your lucky day because you’ve stumbled across somebody who’s spent a career working in this field.

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6 hours ago, InCognitus said:

...  So apparently a lot of people in Utah are addicted to grass.  ...

We are?

https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/cannabis-marijuana

I thought grass wasn't addictive? :huh:

Oh. :huh: 

Wait. :unknw: 

You mean ...  Never mind <_<   Sorry! :rolleyes:   My bad.

Reminds me of the episode from The Newlywed Game in which Bob Eubanks asked the wives, "Name something your husband will say the neighbors have more of than you do."  I don't remember what the husband's answer was, but it didn't match his wife's.  His wife said that the one thing her husband would say that the neighbors have more of than they do is ... grass.

The guy laughed and said, "I wouldn't bet on that."

Somehow, I don't think they were talking about the same thing. ;) 

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8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

The trouble with the leftist slur “climate change denier” (I prefer the descriptor “climate change skeptic”) is that it is misleadingly inaccurate. I don’t know of anyone who denies the existence of climate change. The question seems to be if it really is occurring on such a scale and with such urgency that we need to ruin entire economies to deal with it, a la the “green new deal” (we’ve got about eight years to go now on AOC’s “world will end in 12 years” doomsday prophecy). 

 

i think the problem with the term climate skeptic is to maintain skepticism at this point entails a consistent denial of scientific consensus and data in favor of poorly constructed arguments, one liners, and quasi-science. When there’s not enough data/real time evidence in the world to shift skepticism on a topic, that’s not skepticism any more. 
 

8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

As for putting on a sweater, I’ve seen enough wet/dry cycles come and go in Utah to believe a return to the wet is not only inevitable but sooner than most people think. The memory of flood waters being diverted as a river down North Temple Street in downtown Salt Lake City in the 1980s is still fresh in my mind. 

 

Most of these cycles entailed faster shifts. As in a dry period that lasts 3-9 years usually. We’re past 20. In order for this to be “cyclical” you have to go to a “cycle” that happens less than once every 1000 years. In other words no one has living memory of a drought like this. I really hope there’s an experience of serious flooding again. Because at this point we would need several years of it to make up for the current deficit we’ve incurred. 

8 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

There are enough places to put my cash right now — new roof, floor coverings — that I’m disinclined to spend several thousand dollars on remaking the yard right now, only to be missing the lawn a few years hence. 

Yards technically make a tiny percentage of the water usage in the west, no matter their choice of decor. But I have a hard time understanding “missing the lawn.” I have the least amount of traditional lawn in my block. But I spend more time outside enjoying my yard on the block because the space is far more interactive. Two play areas for kids, several extensive garden areas with food, herb, and floral aesthetics that feed my family and bird/pollinators, a greenhouse/office and wood workshop, a composting area, and soon a fire pit area and chicken coop. Most of this is connected by a relaxing path/patio design. Grass is seriously overrated. We keep two small patches (though mixed with clover) for our pets/chilling in. They’re our least used areas.
 

with luv, 

BD 

Edited by BlueDreams
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