PALMDALE, CA – Water thirsty California is getting some help from a conservation minded resident of Palmdale. Since 2011, the Palmdale Water District’s Cash for Grass program has provided monetary incentives to qualifying homeowners to remove their lawns in exchange for landscaping with drought tolerant vegetation. The District has doled out $48,593.50 to program participants so far this year.
“We receive several program applications every week,” said Linda Trevino, Water Conservation Aide. “Each application is unique to the property and gives the owners flexibility to make large or small changes to their landscape.”
With nearly 82% of the state in Extreme Drought, no measurable rain forecasted, little accumulated snowpack in the Sierra Nevada’s, and reservoir levels running low, local water agencies have needed to become creative in promoting and initiating conservation efforts to save water.
“Like many homeowners, we took pride in having a lush green lawn and used however much water needed to keep it that way,” said Phyllis Gonda of Palmdale. “But after seeing how others have been struggling to have enough water to just get by, we decided it was time to do our part.”
The program offers up to $2.00 in rebate money per square foot of grass removed. Applicants are required to attend one free workshop sponsored by the District on hardscape design or view a free online course. A District employee will come to the property to inspect and measure the area to be converted to determine the amount of the program rebate.
“It was hard for us to get rid of our yard. I was emotionally attached to it and enjoyed watering the lawn,” said Gonda. “After going through the process, seeing my water bill cut more than half, and knowing that the water I would be using will be used by someone else who needs it more, made all of the work and effort worth it.”
“This is the largest rebate check the District has ever given to a Cash for Grass partner,” said Kathy Mac Laren, President of the Palmdale Water District Board of Directors. “We couldn’t be happier working with and recognizing all of the program partners for their collective efforts to conserve water and bring desert landscape back to our neighborhoods.”