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General Description

The physical modification or ornamentation of the exterior environment to serve the needs of people is the broad definition of landscaping. This includes planting, altering the contours of the ground, and building structures and amenities such as pedestrian ways, paths and picnic areas. Landscaping activities can have negative impacts on the environment by requiring excessive consumption of natural resources, increased flooding, and loss of biodiversity.

Summary of Federal Requirements

Although EO 13693 does not specifically mention environmentally beneficial landscaping, it does stress the reduction of water consumption which is a result of environmentally beneficial landscaping. Federal agencies are tasked to reduce agency industrial, landscaping, and agricultural (ILA) water consumption measured in gallons by 2 percent annually through fiscal year 2025 relative to a baseline of the agency's ILA water consumption in fiscal year 2010.

Summary of State Requirements

There are states that are forcing the issue of beneficial landscaping in order to conserve water resources. These are primarily western states. The state, county, or municipality will limit the water that can be used for landscape irrigation resulting in plants that are not desert-adaptable dying. Xeriscaping, the use of native plants, not only decreases the amount of water used for irrigation, but native plants have adapted to the climate and insects of the area.

Laws and Statutes

E.O. 13693

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Last Updated: July 26, 2017