State lawn rebates

Oct. 12, 2016

Michael Raffety

With $24 million for lawn rebates and $6 million for toilet upgrades, the state is not working through local water districts. Instead it is handling it all itself through the Department of Water Resources. Starting with the chief press officer I got referred deeper into the department to find somebody who could answer a few basic questions about the state’s law rebate program.

The state has approved 5,372 lawn rebates as of Oct. 12, according to Kent Frame of DWR. The average lawn removed and changed up for water wise landscaping is 1,200 square feet, he said. That calculates to more than $6 million the state has handed out. The total amount of square footage completed will not be known until all 5,372 applications are completed, Frame said.

Most of the grants have been awarded in Central and Northern California. At $2 a square foot that is the same as the huge Metropolitan Water District has been giving out. Because of the MWD program most of Southern California is not eligible for the state’s program, Frame said.

Half of the $24 million of the lawn removal funds “is targeted for residents in disadvantaged communities in areas with depleted groundwater basins,” according to the Aug. 12 press release.

There are five applications approved from El Dorado County, Frame informed me Wednesday.

And how does DWR confirm a project has been completed? The homeowner submits five photos to confirm the project has been completed in accordance with the 14 terms and conditions of the turf replacement program.

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