The dire drought situation in many parts of the United States and specifically Southern California has led to new incentives to replace your lawn / turf and now is the time to do it! The latest program is called the Turf Replacement Program by the Metropolitan Water District. Depending on where you live, additional rebates might be available from your local water agency.
According to the Metropolitan Water District's SoCalWaterSmart.com "The Turf Replacement program is a two-part application process. In order to receive a rebate, you must apply to reserve rebate funds prior to starting your project. After the reservation, you will have 180 days to complete the project and submit your request for a rebate.
Metropolitan Water District is offering a rebate of $2.00 per square foot up to 5,000 square feet of converted yard per year. Your water agency may offer an additional rebate incentive. To verify the full incentive offered for your area, please visit estimate my rebate.
Turf grass is a commonly used in landscaping. Unfortunately, it also requires a large amount of water, time, and money to maintain in our Southern California climate. Conversion to a California Friendly™ and native landscape may dramatically reduce both water and maintenance expenses. An example of potential savings is an experiment conducted using two properties in Santa Monica. One was a traditional turf landscape and the other was converted to a California Friendly™ landscape. Over the years, the California Friendly™ landscape has used 83% less water and required 68% less maintenance than the traditional turf landscape. You can see the details of this experiment here.
Often, turf is located in places where it is underutilized or not needed, such as side yards, parkways, street medians, around parking lots, and in business landscapes without pedestrians. Many customers find that they can remove turf in their landscape while improving the usefulness and curb appeal of their property. In fact, California Friendly™ and native landscapes not only save water and money, but they can be a beautiful, unique, and interesting replacement for traditional turf.
The intent of the Turf Replacement program is to have homeowners remove their existing grass and to replace it with organic, drought tolerant landscaping. Please note, synthetic turf is not an approved conversion option for this program. Following the success of other incentive programs focusing on landscaping and turf grass removal, the Turf Replacement program aims to combine turf removal, irrigation modification and rainwater retention or filtration to support reuse or soil absorption of rainwater. Every turf replacement project will include:
3 plants per 100 square feet of area transformed
A stormwater retention feature
No hardscape within the transformed area, except permeable hardscape
Replacement or modification of overhead spray sprinklers
The Turf Replacement Program takes a multi-pronged approach to maximize water utilization and conservation. Removing turf grass is one of the most water conscious adjustments a homeowner can make to reduce their water usage and associated costs. Converting irrigation systems to drip, hand-watering or installing water efficient micro-spray systems or rotating nozzles ensures that landscape watering is as efficient as possible. Finally, the addition of a sustainable approach in the new landscape works to reduce or prevent wasteful runoff through the use of a rainwater capture or filtration system.
Both Residential Properties and Commercial Properties Qualify
Both residential and commercial properties can apply for rebates. Not only are there rebates for turf removal, there is also rebates for water saving devices like smart meters and water saving irrigation.
Before Removing Turf:
Before you begin your project or remove any turf, you must apply for and receive an approval to proceed.
The pre-project approval to proceed will specify the estimated rebate amount based on the measured area and information you provided. Note: It is important that you measure your project area(s) accurately. Once your project start has been approved, your rebate amount cannot be increased from the amount approved.
Visit the SoCalWater$mart Turf Replacement Program Application to apply online for your approval to start your project..
Items to have ready before going online:
At least 5 color photos of the areas where you plan to remove turf.
A simple landscape plan which shows the area to be transformed and the type and location of your selected stormwater retention feature. Visit the Sustainable Approach page for more information on eligible stormwater retention features.
A photo or scanned copy of your recent water bill.
Set up an account with a valid email address and password. Be sure to use a current email address because all information about your rebate will be sent to this email account. The account will allow you to log back in after your project is complete to claim your reserved funding (see Post Project details below). Do not begin your work until you receive an email approval to start your project. This may take approximately two weeks.
Once you receive approval, you have 180 days to complete your project.
After completing your project, you are ready to submit Post Project: Request for Rebate.
Once your project has been completed, visit the Turf Replacement Rebate Application to request your rebate by completing Post Project: Request for Rebate Application
The project start approval will specify the estimated rebate amount based on the square footage and information provided. Your square footage amount cannot be increased from the original amount reserved.
Submit a minimum of eight color photos of your completed project area consisting of:
The new plant coverage installed.
The sustainable landscape approach selected (i.e. rain garden, rain barrel, etc.).
At least one of each area where turf was removed.
The overhead irrigation conversion or modification incorporated.
There may be a post-project site inspection, provided by Metropolitan’s inspector.
It may take up to 2 weeks to review your application. Once all of the correct documents have been received and reviewed, and an inspection has been completed (if needed) you will be advised of the status of your rebate via email or your online dashboard. Upon approval, you will receive your rebate in 8-10 weeks."
If you have a residential or commercial property and need help with the rebate process, contact us! Not only can we help facilitate the rebate process, we can replace your turf along the necessary guidelines and update your irrigation system to both save water and money!
The term Xeriscape comes from the Greek word 'xeros' which means 'dry' combined with 'scape' meaning 'dry landscape' but really it means landscaping with plants that need minimal water. Since about 70 percent of the water consumed by an average single-family home is used outdoors, the best place to start conserving water is in your garden. However, xeriscaping with plants that do not need a lot of water does not mean your garden has to look desolate!
Southwestern states have been xeriscaping the longest due to the fact that they have dry climates and it makes sense to not fight mother nature by growing high maintenance gardens and lawns. But with water becoming a diminishing resource everywhere, other states throughout the U.S. are now xeriscaping too.
Luckily, in Southern California, we have many drought resistant native plants and a climate that allows us to use low water plants from other similar dry climates like Australia, South Africa, the Middle East, and Mediterranean areas. Many of these plants are lush and beautiful and visually completely different than a typical southwest garden of cacti and rocks. There are many wonderful options, and we live in the perfect place for xeriscaping!
Water is still necessary with xeriscapes, especially when plants are new. However they become more drought resistant once established. Many drought tolerant native plants in the wild naturally have deep roots as part of their survival. New, nursery bought plants in pots will take a couple years at minimum to achieve the same deeper root systems as their counterparts in the wild.
Xeriscapes work well with low-pressure systems that deliver water right to the roots of the plants but don't go everywhere. A sub-surface water source not only feeds the roots without wasting it on the surface where it can evaporate, it encourages the roots to grow deeper beyond the root ball which ultimately makes it hardier and more drought resistant in the future. Once roots are established, they will require even less supplemental water.
Another important component to xeriscaping is using a ground cover like gravel or mulch. Mulch can be made from organic materials including leaves, grass clippings, straw, shredded bark, sawdust, wood chips, and cardboard. There is also rubber mulch made from recycled tires which does not decompose quickly. Ground cover does a multiple of jobs when it comes to xeriscaping. Most importantly, it helps keep the moisture in the soil and keeps the ground cooler in the summer. It also keeps weeds from competing with plants for water and nutrients.
Xeriscapes are most stunning when designed with a combination of softscapes and hardscapes. Softscape refers to trees, bushes, plants, ground cover, and the living aspects of the garden. Hardscape is the addition of pathways, planters, and outdoor living areas that can make your garden more inviting, accessible, and visually interesting. Hardscapes also mean less softscapes, and less water. The key is to design a layout that is a balance of the two so that your garden complements your home and is low maintenance; saving you water and money!
There are rebates being offered in Southern California to replace lawns we can help you through that process. We are also certified experts installing smart-water irrigation systems that are efficient and cost effective and are rebate worthy too!
Our team at Pacific Vista Landscape Services are experts when it comes to xeriscaping and knowing the vast variety of drought resistant plant options. We can work with you to design incredible soft and hardscapes to enhance your property which not only look great but will save you money too. Having a beautiful, low maintenance garden makes sense now and in the future!
It is time to up our commitment to water conservation and starting June 1st, 2022, new water restrictions will begin. The latest Drought Data has not only shown worsening conditions, it also shows that Californians have been lax in saving water the last couple of years, despite the threat of more intense drought conditions throughout California.
Los Angeles City
In Southern California, Los Angeles City areas have new restrictions for watering your landscape to no more than two days a week, and which days are determined by your street address. Also there is no watering between 9am-4pm. Watering is limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.
Different counties and metropolitan areas can implement more strict or lenient restrictions, depending on the data for their area.
Santa Clarita Valley
In Santa Clarita, the SCV Water’s Board of Directors voted Tuesday to move the Agency into Stage 2 of its Water Shortage Contingency Plan. The move comes as California and the Santa Clarita Valley continue to face a severe drought with no end in sight.
"Despite planning for dry times, this drought has become so severe that we are having to dip into our banked water supplies," said SCV Water’s General Manager Matt Stone.
“Moving to Stage 2 will place new water restrictions in place to eliminate water waste and ensure we have enough water to meet the needs of our community.”
Santa Clarita Valley Stage 2 includes stage 1 and asks for consumers to voluntarily save at least 20% more:
Make sure to check with your local area to know what's allowed. Smart meters can really help make watering at certain times easy. Check out Smart Landscaping to see how!
Do you need to redo your sprinkler system? We can help! Contact us today!