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Opinion >  Letters

Lawns help keep us cool

Douglas Benn’s letter, “Don’t hog our water” (Aug. 8), requires more discussion.

In the metropolitan area of Spokane County there is no drought or shortage of water. The problem is the capacity of water storage. For decades our increase in population has been steady and recently explosive. For decades our elected and administrative officials have known it but did nothing about it. Our water storage capacity should be 20 times more than it is and not just for normal usage but for emergencies and catastrophe. As Mr. Benn noted from the Book of Genesis, to store up in the times of plenty for the time of want is common sense and basic survival.

Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on a day that is plus 90F, walk up and down an unshaded driveway or sidewalk with bare feet. Then, step onto a green lawn and note the difference. Mr. Benn’s desert landscape may contribute more to global warming than to the conservation of water. Public and private green spaces are needed to mitigate high temperatures. Green lawns are cooling, absorb CO2 and release oxygen.

Public and private lawns need to be seeded and reseeded with long and deep-rooted grasses like fescue that can hold ground moisture, reduce watering and interact with the natural water cycle. That is the responsible way to conserve water, cool the environment and keep our oasis.

Rich Magney


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