Water utilities sponsor drought-friendly landscape competitions

Last year’s NBU contest first-place winners were Shelly and Kevin Hynes.Last year’s NBU contest first-place winners were Shelly and Kevin Hynes.

Several U.S. water utilities are sponsoring competitions for the best drought-tolerant landscape, with some offering prizes beyond bragging rights, such as extra rebates and more.

The deadline is fast approaching for residents and businesses served by New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) in Texas to enter the fourth annual NBU Drought Tolerant Landscape Contest.

Both commercial and residential entries will be judged on the overall look of the landscape, including use of color and texture and curb appeal; use of drought-tolerant, native plants and trees and functional landscape and turf; overall design, including the creation of a “wildscape” with no more than 49 percent turf grass; along with water efficiency and conservation techniques.

First-place winners will receive double the amount they are eligible for under NBU’s Drought Tolerant Landscape Rebate program, a custom yard sign to display and will be showcased in NBU’s 2016 Drought Tolerant Landscape Calendar.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Tampa Bay Water has sponsored the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards for the past 16 years, recognizing residents and businesses with the most water-efficient landscapes. In addition to the contest, the water utility has developed a video series highlighting previous winners of the awards to show others how to create their own water-efficient landscapes.

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