The use of water to maintain residential lawns, recreational areas and landscapes, and other non-agricultural uses is coming under increasing scrutiny and criticism by the public, interest groups, and policy makers.
An alliance of leading turfgrass producers and researchers, the TWCA sets the pace and standards in this arena; responding to the concerns of the public with real-world practical standards for lawn and garden water use. Unbiased and independent, the TWCA is a non-profit foundation dedicated to improving the environment through water conservation initiatives.
TWCA first establishes common standards across the board with rigorous testing protocols to determine the drought resistance of different varieties of grass . Once identified as truly drought resistant, TWCA supports the use of those plants and other live-goods products in the lawn and garden industry which provide a clear benefit in water conservation - without sacrificing our quality of life.
Without an objective measurement of drought resistance, the task of improving water conservation is ambiguous and open to commercial bias. TWCA has codified the first objective protocol for analyzing a plant's response to, and recovery from drought.
Test sites are located nationally, to ensure a meaningful result through regional soil and temperate conditions. At these nationwide locations, testing is conducted in approved rain out structures to restrict natural rainfall on the plot area during the drought stress period.
Each species is maintained and fertilized for a growing season prior to initiating drought stress. Then drought stress is induced for up to two years.
Digital image analysis techniques are used to objectively measure the response of test subjects to drought stress and drought recovery. To receive TWCA qualification, tested products must meet stringent standards of resistance to drought stress and successful recovery for two years at all testing locations.
This objective measurement, and the stringent criteria behind it, becomes the basis for consumer trust and informed consumer choices. Assurance that products bearing the TWCA seal provide real water conservation benefit as promised. Choosing TWCA-certified products means choosing to conserve water, preserve our water resources, and improving the environment.
Urban sprawl, industrial growth, and agricultural modernization places greater demands on existing water supplies. It's estimated that the demand for water has increased over three times in the past 50 years, and will continue to increase in the decades ahead. From 2000 to 2025, the pressures from population growth alone will account for more than a 22% decrease in the amount of water available per person. Real water conservation measures are needed now, and are quickly becoming an important public concern.