Converting your water-guzzling lawn to a drought tolerant garden makes perfect sense. It will not only help you reduce your water use significantly, but it will save you money and time/
A Southland city commissioned a study for a period of nine years to determine how much water homeowners can save by removing their lawns. A landscape designer was asked to design two adjacent residential-size front yards, each about 1,900 square feet. One had a traditional lawn and thirsty plants watered by sprinklers. The other featured low-water California natives, which were watered as needed by drip irrigation. The yards were then monitored over a period of nine years. The results were amazing:
If that’s not enough to sway you toward losing your lawn consider this: The native garden took 167 fewer hours to maintain than lawn!
You may be surprised how much you will enjoy your drought-tolerant garden. It’s a better fit for our Mediterranean climate and it also provides a habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and beneficial insects. You can be as creative as you like. To learn about drought tolerant plants and help inspire your new landscape design, visit the quick links found on santa-ana.org/waterconservation.
Helping You Do Your Part: Turf Removal Rebates
To help consumers replace their lawns with drought-tolerant gardens, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) has introduced the nation’s largest turf removal and water conservation program which over the next decade is expected to generate enough water savings to nearly fill the region’s largest reservoir—Diamond Valley Lake. The turf removal part of the plan is projected to save about 80 million gallons of water a day for Southern California, or enough water for 160,000 households.
The City of Santa Ana has partnered with MWD on a Turf Removal Program that offers homeowners a rebate of $2.00 per square foot of grass removed, up to a maximum of $6,000 per property. The grass must be replaced by a new landscape that meets requirements set by the City of Santa Ana’s California Friendly landscape Guidelines for Private Property and Parkways. These requirements include certain ratios of plant material, permeable hardscape and mulch such as compost, bark and other organic material.
Step One: Plan Your Project
_Select the types of plants, permeable hardscape and organic material you plan to use.
_Measure your project area correctly.
_Design and layout your project area.
Step Two: Project Start Approval
_Apply for your project start approval online by visiting: mwdturf.conservationrebates.com/index.php
_You will need a photo or scanned copy of your recent water bill and at least one photo of each area you plan to remove turf (front hard, side yard, back yard.)
_Wait 2-4 weeks to receive an email approval to start your project.
Step Three: Complete your project
_You have up to 120 days after you receive your approval to complete your projects.
Step Four: Request Your Rebate
_Log into your account as “Returning Turf Applicant” using your original email and password.
_Supply the required information, which includes photos of the same project areas you replaced with drought resistant landscape.
_Your rebate application will be reviewed and you will receive an email with the results within approximately 4-6 weeks.
For specific details about the Turf Removal Program and to apply for the rebate, visit: socalwatersmart.com. Be sure to combine your Turf Remove Rebate with other water saving rebates such as irrigation controllers, soil moister sensor systems and rain barrels.