Xeriscaping Lands at Palm Springs Airport
About eight acres of lawns, trees, shrubs and planting beds will be replaced with drought-tolerant plants and decorative pavers at the Palm Springs International
Airport, according to a plan approved by the city in June. The renovation will reduce water use at the airport by more than 17 million gallons every year, cutting the
airport's $100,000 annual water cost.
The Palm Springs International Airport plans to replace about 80
percent of its turfgrass with water-efficient, desert-tolerant plantings
and pedestrian improvements, according to a plan approved by the
Palm Springs Architectural Advisory Committee in June.
The airport spends about $100,000 on water annually to keep
its 10 acres of lawns, shrubs, trees and planting beds hydrated, said
airport executive director Tom Nolan. Transitioning eight of those
acres to a low-water, drought-tolerant landscape is expected
to reduce water consumption by at least 50 percent.
The most visible lawns, around
the large fountain at the main terminal, will remain. The plan also
mandates wayfinding improvements for drivers and pedestrians.
A subcommittee will review the design's lighting and hardscape
elements as the design phase begins.
Estimates by the Palm Springs Office of Sustainability conclude
transitioning a typical lawn landscape to desert landscape can save
50 to 60 gallons of water per square foot per year. At the airport
this estimate means conserving some 17.4 million gallons of water a
year — equivalent to the water contained in about 35 Palm Springs
Swim Center-size pools.
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