Rip out your lawn, get paid double, says drought-minded Metropolitan Water District
|May 14, 2014 - The incentive for removing turf from your year and for rain barrels and high-efficiency toilets will soon be doubled by Metropolitan Water District in respeonse to the current severe drought.|
|City News Service|
|In the face of a severe drought, the amount of money the Metropolitan Water District will pay you to get rid of your lawn is doubling. (File photo by Micah Escamilla/ Redlands Daily Facts)|
LOS ANGELES — The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is hoping that sweetening financial incentives will encourage residents and businesses to conserve water during the statewide drought.
Metropolitan’s Board of Directors is doubling the incentive for turf removal, as well as extending rebates for rain barrels and high-efficiency toilets, to further entice Southern Californians to institute water-saving practices at home and in businesses.
The new measures were adopted in response to Gov. Jerry Brown’s emergency drought declaration, calling on all Californians to redouble their conservation practices.
The changes will go into effect before the expected summer period of peak water demands.
“Southern Californians have time and again responded to the call for conservation,” said Metropolitan board Chairman Randy A. Record. “By encouraging them with even more financial incentives, we hope to boost participation in region-wide conservation programs.”
The incentive changes adopted Tuesday include doubling the per-square-foot rebate for turf removal from $1 to $2, extending funding for rain barrels and the residential high-efficiency toilet program; and increasing funding for private and public property owners to convert potable water irrigation or industrial water systems to recycled water as part of a pilot program launching July 1.
According to Metropolitan, participation in the turf removal program increased by more than 50 percent in the areas where member agencies offered higher incentives to replace grass with drought-friendly plants and alternative landscape materials.
Private or public business owners who convert to recycled systems will now be paid for water savings up to five years, replacing the previous two-year cap instituted when the on-site retrofit pilot program was initially approved by Metropolitan’s board in February.
In addition to the longer period for incentivized savings, the board approved a higher program cap to allow for a larger amount of annual recycled water use.
For a full listing of Metropolitan’s commercial and residential incentives, consumers are encouraged to visit www.bewaterwise.com.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties.
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