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Landscapers unhappy with water restrictions

WILMINGTON -- When it comes to the drought landscapers have some strong words for Wilmington city leaders. They say the water restrictions are too severe and hurt their business. They voiced their concerns at Tuesday night's city council meeting. Back in November, Wilmington city leaders voted to allow professional power washers to operate despite the worsening drought. Now landscapers say they too are feeling squeezed. Landscaper Don Curtis said, "The severity of the water restrictions here are stopping all the projects done by landscapers and golf course superintendents." Curtis has already had to lay off three people, a third of his workforce. He says the Wilmington city council has gone too far by banning all types of irrigation, including that for newly planted lawns. "Landscapers are losing their businesses," Curtis said. "Several have gone bankrupt. We've got layoffs happening everyday." Landscapers like Curits say allowing irrigation for the first 30 days after a lawn is planted would allow their businesses to survive. And while city leaders are sympathetic to their cause, they worry about easing water restrictions without examining the issue thoroughly. Wilmington City Councilman Ronald Sparks said, "If we do anything we need to make sure it conforms with what other cities affected by the drought are doing." As a comparison, Wilmington leaders plan to look at water conservation measures in Raleigh and Atlanta, cities worse off than Wilmington when you factor in population. While Atlanta has an irrigation exemption for newly planted lawns, Raleigh does not. Sparks says it's the council's duty to responsibly and equitably manage the dwindling water supply. Landscapers hope they do something soon, before they see their profits dry up too. Landscapers also want to help educate the public about water conservation when it comes to caring for their lawns. They will be presenting a proposal to the city council in February about what can be done.

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Landscapers in numbers going to City Council..."Taking an inrest and participating in governmment".... Firefighters in numbers giong to City Council in numbers...."Bullys". Landscapers want relaxed water restrictions to make money, firefighters need more money too.

Landscaping water woes

Have you thought about xeroscaping-the use of native plants in yards that don't require large amounts of water. North Carolina and other states are in severe drought conditions. The types of grass and plants, especially those awful palm trees aren't native to our area and require lots & lots of water. I would rather have water for drinking, bathing & cooking. It might be time to change the way you do business or change careers. All people & businesses seriously need to conserve our precious water so our children & grandchildren will have good quality water for the future.


What they should be asking themselves is: Is a green lawn more important than having water for the citizens to drink, bath, cook, etc? There are plants and grass that can be used that does not require as much water. I live in the country and have a natural grass that did quite well this summer without having to be watered. The coastal area has always taken the water resources for granted. If you ever lived out west and experienced drought year after year, than you would understand how wastefull the people and business's in this area are. Conditions like this will only get worse as the population increases.

Who is installing a new lawn

Who is installing a new lawn right now anyways??? We are in the middle of winter.

I think it's wrong to allow

I think it's wrong to allow one business to break the water restrictions but not others. Landscapers depend on water just as professional power washers do.Either they should both be allowed special privileges or NO ONE should be allowed special privileges.

Water restrictions hurting many professions

Power washers can sympathize with the landscaping profession. Our industries have not caused this drought, nor have they contributed to waste and hundreds of small businesses are suffering tremendously. There are many other industries that waste thousands of gallons of water that doesn't even affect their business. It takes the equivalent of about 4 average baths to perform a professional housewash - once a year. Landscapers, in all likelihood, would use less water if allowed to water more frequently as opposed to less often. If you don't want to let washers perform their business, or landscapers to perform theirs, then shouldn't it be ridiculous to allow retail box stores to inventory plants that they are allowed to water - it's not like anyone is buying them because none of us, as homeowners, are allowed to water them when we get them home?!? A professional company that utilizes water has means and methods implemented to use the least amount of water possible. If professionals are allowed to do the work that is needed as opposed to untrained or unlicensed companies, water would be conserved!