Turf Rebate Programs See Surge of Interest

Water agencies report a surge in interest in turf replacement and conservation rebate programs this summer as the drought continues.

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, for example, recently doubled its incentive to replace thirsty turf from $1 to $2 per square foot. In response, requests for the rebates in July alone amounted to 2.5 million square-feet of turf removal – the equivalent of removing 1,665 typical Southern California front yards, according to MWD. Businesses also are responding, with rebates requested in July that amount to 4.7 million square-feet of turf.

ACWA is aware of turf rebates offered by at least 26 water agencies around the state. Such programs generate real water savings not only during drought, but on an ongoing basis.

Turf Rebates Around the State

Atascadero Mutual Company
Turf Conversion – Convert existing areas of turf grass to drought‐tolerant plants, synthetic turf, or permeable paving. Existing lawnsmust  be in good condition and irrigated by an existing sprinkler system in good working order.
Rebate amount:  $0.25/sf;
Max. rebate:
$500 Single family res.
$1,000 Multi-family res., commercial, landscape
 
Camrosa Water District
Turf removal rebates available for $2 or more per sq. ft. removed.
 
City of American Canyon
$2 per square foot of area that is replanted. For example, if you remove the minimum amount of 1,000 square feet of turf, and replant the minimum area of 500 square feet (50%) then you would get a rebate of $1,000 (500 square feet replanted x $2 per square foot).  If you replanted the entire 1,000 square feet, you would receive a rebate of $2,000 (1,000 square feet replanted x $2). Please see the THREE Rules pages for additional information. Since this Program is of limited duration, and with a limited budget, there will be a limited number of customers who will be eligible to participate in the Program.
 
City of San Diego Public Utilities
City of San Diego customers with qualifying grass areas can receive rebates of up to $1.50 per square foot when replacing the grass in their front, side or backyards with a minimum of 25% living plant material. Qualifying plants must be very low to moderate in water use, non-invasive, and cover at least 25% of the total project area when fully grown. The remaining 75% of the project area must consist of pervious surface that helps reduce stormwater runoff. Maximum rebate $3,600.
http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/rebates/grassreplacement.shtml
 
Coachella Valley Water District                                                           
For residential customers, CVWD rebates are available at $1 per square foot up to a maximum of 1,000 square feet per project, with a maximum of two projects per home. For HOA and commercial customers, rebates are available at $1 per square foot up to a maximum of 25,000 square feet per project. Nearly 5 million square feet of turf has been removed through rebate projects since the program first started in 2009. Due to unprecedented interest in the program since the 2014 drought declaration, CVWD has more than quadrupled funding for conservation programs.

In Jan. 2015, CVWD launched a turf rebate program for golf courses, funded entirely through a $1.3 million Prop 84 grant. http://www.cvwd.org/conservation/rebates.php

Crescenta Valley Water District

CVWD water customers can receive up to $800 in rebates for removing their thirsty lawns and replacing turf grass with California Friendly native or drought tolerant plants, mulch, synthetic turf, or pervious hardscape. 
 
Dublin San Ramon Services District
The rebate for a single-family residence has been increased to a maximum $750 (based on square footage converted), and the rebate for a non-residential property or multi-family property has been increased to a maximum $4,500.
 
East Valley Water District
Up to $200, for water efficient landscaping that uses native plants, efficient irrigation systems and other landscaping elements that thrive using less water than traditional grass lawns.
 
El Toro Water District
Residential and small commercial customers of participating retail water providers are eligible to receive an incentive of $2 (or more) per square foot of turf removed for qualifying projects. Your participation in this Program is voluntary and is encouraged by your local retail water provider.
 
Foothill Municipal Water District
Water customers can receive up to $800.00 in rebates for removing their thirsty lawns and replacing turf grass with California Friendly native or drought tolerant plants, mulch, synthetic turf, or pervious hardscape.
 
Irvine Ranch Water District
Potable water customers eligible to receive $2 per square foot of turf removed. Recycled water customers receive $2 per square foot of turf removed. 250 square foot minimum. Synthetic turf is now eligible.
 
Jurupa Community Services District
To help with turf removal projects, rebates are available for $2 or more per square foot of turf removed. Synthetic turf is eligible for rebates unless stated in your area’s terms and conditions.
 
Laguna Beach County Water District
Eligible District customers can receive an incentive of $3 per square foot of turf removed for qualifying products. Removing turf increases water use efficiency and reduces runoff leaving the property.   
 
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District
Residential and commercial customers can particuipate in "Mow No Mow" program and receive up to $2 per square foot removed. There is no monetary limit on the size of the rebate for residential customers but commercial properties must be at least 50,000 square feet.
 
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
The district recently doubled its incentive to replace turn from $1 to $2 per square foot. Requests for the rebates in July alone amounted to 2.5 million square feet of turn, the equivalent to removing 1,665 typical Southern California front yard.
 
Mission Springs Water District
May 18, 2015: Property owners may receive up to $2 per square foot for turf removal and conversion to desert-friendly landscaping to a maximum of $3,000 per residential and $10,000 per commercial or institutional project. July 13 at 5 p.m. is the application deadline. Qualified applicants will be placed into a pool for a rebate lotttery. https://www.mswd.org/conservation.aspx
 
Monte Vista Water District
Commercial, Industrial and Institutional customers can now take advantage of a NEW turn removal program! Turf grass is one of the most water-intensive plants in your landscape. Its high water use and frequent maintenance make it a time-consuming and expensive landscape option. To help with turf removal projects, rebates are now available for $2 per square foot of turf removed. https://www.mvwd.org/watchthewater.cfm
 
Moulton Niguel Water District
Residential and small commercial customers of participating retail water providers are eligible to receive an incentive of $2 (or more) per square foot of turf removed for qualifying projects. Your participation in this Program is voluntary and is encouraged by your local retail water provider. http://www.mnwd.com/rebates/
 
Newhall County Water District
NCWD, in cooperation with the Family of Water Suppliers, is offering a rebate of $2 per sq. ft. for the removal of 500 – 2500 square foot of living grass.
 
Olivenhain Community Services District
The San Diego County Water Authority’s program offers $1.50 per square foot, and this website includes everything you need to know to complete a successful project. In addition, the SoCal Water$mart Turf Removal Program offers a separate rebate. For more about that program, go to SoCal Water$mart.com.                                                                                                                  http://www.olivenhain.com/customer-service/save-water-save-money/135-remove-grass-earn-cash
 
Otay Water District
$1.50 per-square-foot rebate to replace existing irrigated grass with water-wise plants.
 
Rancho California Water District
$2 per square foot of area that is replanted. For example, if you remove the minimum amount of 1,000 square feet of turf, and replant the minimum area of 500 square feet (50%) then you would get a rebate of $1,000 (500 square feet replanted x $2 per square foot).  If you replanted the entire 1,000 square feet, you would receive a rebate of $2,000 (1,000 square feet replanted x $2). Please see the THREE Rules pages for additional information. Since this Program is of limited duration, and with a limited budget, there will be a limited number of customers who will be eligible to participate in the Program.
 
Sacramento Suburban Water District
50 cents per square foot up to $1,000 for treplacing lawn with low-water use plants.
http://www.sswd.org/index.aspx?page=488
 
Santa Margarita Water District
Customers can apply to receive a rebate of up to $2 per square foot for lawn removal through the Turf Removal Program.  http://www.smwd.com/conservation/rebate-programs.html
 
Scotts Valley Water District
Apply to replace your existing irrigated lawn with low-water plants, native grass, mulch or woodchips, pervious hardscape (gravel, stepping stones, etc.), swales, rain gardens, infiltration basins or *artificial turf for a credit of $.50 per square foot of area of lawn replaced. Requires a pre-inspection before lawn has been removed.
 
Soquel Creek Water District
Replace existing, irrigated lawn with drought-tolerant plants or synthetic turf.50% of materials cost up to $1 per square foot.  http://www.soquelcreekwater.org/conserving-water/rebates
 
 
Valley of the Moon Water District
Rebate  up to 50 cents per square foot, up to $550 for single family residential.
 
Vandenberg Village Community Services District
Vandenberg Village residents...you may be eligible for a rebate of up to $2 per square foot (max $1,000) to replace turf with low water usage.
 
West Basin Municipal Water District
“Turfs Up” turf removal rebate from $2 to $3 per square foot for qualifying residents in its service area, thanks to a $300,000 grant from the United States Bureau of Reclamation.

In addition to the $3 per square foot rebate, the enhanced program provides a free consultation, where a landscape surveyor will assist the applicant in identifying turf that can be removed and providing information about low water use, drought-tolerant plants and drip irrigation. As a new component to the program, residents who apply can also qualify to receive up to two free rain barrels during the pre-inspection survey.  Separately, West Basin also offers free California Friendly Landscape Training classes that teach residents how to create water-efficient gardens.

 
Western Municipal Water District
Western's program will pay a rebate incentive of $2 per square foot of area that is replanted. For example, if you remove the minimum amount of 1,000 square feet of turf, and replant the minimum area of 500 square feet (50%) then you would get a rebate of $1,000 (500 square feet replanted x $2 per square foot).  If you replanted the entire 1,000 square feet, you would receive a rebate of $2,000 (1,000 square feet replanted x $2). Recently, the district’s Board of Directors approved an action to increase the turf rebate for specific commercial customers to $5 per square foot to encourage landscape conversions at strategic customer locations that can help lower regional water demand.
 
Zone 7 Water Agency
The rebate for a single-family residence has been increased to a maximum $750 (based on square footage converted), and the rebate for a non-residential property or multi-family property has been increased to a maximum $4,500.