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
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
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.