Wednesday, May 27, 2015

California Increases Lawn Replacement Budget By $350 Million

The Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California on Tuesday voted to increase funding for its turf-removal program, as more and more residents and businesses swap water-guzzling lawns for more drought-tolerant landscaping. The MWD will boost its turf-replacement budget by $350 million for one year, but will also change certain terms and conditions of the extremely popular program. The district voted to cap the total reimbursement for residential customers at $6,000, paying $2 per square foot of lawn removed.

So far, the MWD has received more than $330 million in applications for rebates. Application submissions increased dramatically after Governor Jerry Brown ordered a 25% reduction in urban water use last month.

Southland water importer OKs $350-million boost in lawn-removal rebates

During the summer months, outdoor water use traditionally accounts for 50% to 80% of residential consumption. The MWD estimates that removing one square foot of grass can save 42 gallons of water a year.

The MWD is a consortium of 26 cities and water districts that provides drinking water to nearly 19 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Not all members are thrilled by the turf-replacement program and believe that the program is not sustainable. Some members believe the state cannot buy its way out of the drought by removing turf,   (L.A. Times, 5/27/2015)

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