Drought watch: Is landscape industry poised for pain or profit? Email
Thursday, May 14, 2015 11:48 AM

CA drought pic

In its coverage of the California drought last month, separate Fortune magazine articles listed the 6 industries hurt most by the drought – and the 9 industries that stand to profit most from the drought. 

With government encouraging homeowners to let lawns die, in which camp do you think the landscape industry landed?

Surprisingly (or maybe not), the landscape industry is among the 9 poised for profit. According to Fortune, there will be businesses, both new and old, that will find water shortages can lead to profits – and the landscape industry is among them. 

Here’s what Fortune reports: “People love lush lawns, but their charm can wither when the price of keeping them green skyrockets.  In arid areas, landscapers and landscape architects will find their phones will be ringing as people and businesses want attractive surroundings that can thrive under dry conditions.”

The opportunity arises both from lack of water and the future cost of water. Clinton Maloney, a water expert also quoted in the article, notes that “The social cost is not built into the price that companies pay [for water].”  There is always something that can be done with water – and when the focus becomes more about using it to drink and produce food, the price of water will become much more expensive.  

The opportunity for the landscape industry will be to provide outdoor environments that will survive on little to no water because there is little water available and because the cost for what might be available will be excessive.  People may be forced to let their lawns die – but they will still crave plants.

The other industries also poised for profit during drought included:  solar power, water management technology for municipalities, engineering and construction companies, plumbing, manufacturing engineering, plant genetic engineering and consultancies.

For further reading:
6 industries hurt by California drought
9 industries poised for profit from California drought

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
California’s drought: dead lawns and denial
Affordable Care Act and defining seasonal workers
Early season strategies to keep your team upbeat and focused
Turf wars underway over robotic lawn mower

2024 ALCC Platinum Sponsors