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Mesa to pull 5 acres of turf, save 5 million gallons of water each year

This summer, the city of Mesa will start pulling up five acres of non-functional turf across 50 of its parks and basins.

The project is expected to save the more than 5 million gallons of water each year.

Arizona’s Water Infrastructure Authority (WIFA) has granted Mesa a $1.06 million Water Conservation Grant Fund Award for the project.

Andrea Moore directs Mesa’s Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities department. She said the money will allow them to remove 6-foot strips of turf next to infrastructure and replace it with rock and cement curbing.

“People aren’t playing all the way up to homeowners’ walls or all the way up to sidewalks that are next to roads," she said. "So we want to pull the turf away from those locations and keep the grass in the center where people are playing.”

Oftentimes, water gets wasted in those areas, spraying on walls or other objects surrounding the grass. Workers are expected to finish the job by early 2026.

Senior field correspondent Bridget Dowd has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.