Cities can Reward Residents and Promote Conservation

Homeowners in Los Angeles are now able to transform their thirsty lawns into drought tolerant gardens with the help of a new program. The Metropolitan Water District (MWD), which serves over 17 million people throughout the greater Los Angeles area, has implemented a robust new rebate plan to incite greater water conservation among residents.

With a budget of $450 million, the MWD pays up to $6,000, depending on the size of the lot, to residents who are willing to jettison green lawns, and replace them with water wise landscaping. It is estimated that the aggressive plan will conserve over 70 million gallons of water every ten years.

Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of MWD, emphasizes the program reflects the District’s commitment to sustainable living, and provides residents with a clear avenue to combat water related consequences of climate change.

The Metropolitan Water District and the city of Los Angeles provide community leaders an effective template for climate solutions that benefit residents, cities, and water districts. For more information and resources on getting your community involved, check out Path to Positive and join successful city leaders who are making a difference in their communities.

California drought: Rebates offered for ripping out lawns under nation’s largest program

By Paul Vercammen | CNN | June 27, 2015

Los Angeles (CNN) In drought-punished Southern California, with the unceremonious push of a steely sodbuster, another lawn bites the dust.

That’s one down, and a sprawl to go.

Here in the land of perpetual sunshine, up to 5,000 residential lawns now vanish each month, converted into drought-resistant gardens and yards in under cash incentives, says the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), a consortium of water utilities serving 17 million people.

It’s all part of “the nation’s largest turf removal and water conservation program” whose budget was more than quadrupled in May, to $450 million, because of a homeowner rush to save water, the district says.

“What we’re really trying to do is get a change in people’s hearts and minds,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, the district’s general manager. “We really want people to shift how they think about outdoor water usage, their garden and their lifestyle in Southern California.”

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