Intense heat drying activity for the landscape industry

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s a safe bet that most, if not all of central Texas wants rain in the forecast ASAP. But that’s especially true for those who work in the landscape and lawn care industry like Chilee Navarro.

Navarro and her husband have owned Good Neighbor Lawn and Landscape in Austin for 15 years. She said this summer fewer calls are coming in due to water restrictions in the area.

“We used to get about 20 calls a day and we’re at about five to six calls a day right now,” Navarro said.

For the projects they have, Navarro said clients want to get out with the grass and with the rocks.

“For the next two weeks we have nothing but rock, cactus, agave, all of it,” Navarro said.

Jorge Tovar, owner of Picture Perfect Lawns, is in a similar position.

“Every summer gets dry, but not as bad as this one. This one takes its toll,” Tovar said.

He said the majority of his customers are also in the market for xeriscaping, a type of landscaping that reduces or completely eliminates the need for watering.

Both Tovar and Navarro said xeriscaping is a technique mostly used in dessert climates like Arizona and Nevada.

“These plants here will basically survive on their own with very, very low amounts of water to almost zero,” Tovar said.

Navarro and Tovar said they don’t expect business to pick up anytime soon. So for now, they’ll wait until they get the one thing they desperately need.

“We need rain!” Navarro said.

Starting tomorrow, another town in central Texas will face water restrictions.

The city of Buda will enter phase 1 drought conservation measures. The city said it aims to reduce its total water consumption by 10%.

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