Exploring Options for Urban Sustainability in an Era of Scarce Water Resources: A Possible Ban on Lawns

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter

Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law


Lawn bans, Sustainability mandates


In this chapter, I consider how municipalities can use the law to reduce lawns and the harms they cause. Because lawns are so prevalent and use such a large percentage of potable municipal water, yet offer limited benefits, they are a logical point of attack for future sustainability ordinances. This is not far fetched: a small number of southwestern localities have begun to prohibit or limit new turf installation (Scottsdale; Tucson); others have incentivized the removal of existing lawns (Chandler; Scottsdale); and watering and fertilizer limitations are fairly widespread (Dothan; Garden Grove; Tucson). To date, however, there has been little scholarly discussion of limits on lawns.