Trading in grass for cash

Updated June 01, 2020
Roseville’s water supply strategy is simple: encourage customers to save water where they can and develop water infrastructure that will help reduce impacts of changing weather patterns.  Even despite ample rain fall, water efficiency was hard at work educating and providing rebates that will have long lasting impacts.
One part of our water supply strategy means encouraging customers to take action. 

Many customers have changed out their yards into something more water wise, which helps reduce impacts of changing weather patterns.

Even despite ample rain fall and snow pack, water efficiency is always hard at work educating and providing rebates that will have long lasting impacts.

Lynda Poulton loves the look and cooling effect of a lush lawn, but knew it was no longer practical. She's lives in the Sun City retirement community and has been there for 11 years.  And at 81, didn't want to manage her expansive lawn anymore.

"I needed a little push to get me going to remove the lawn," she said.

That motivation came in the form of a residential rebate program offered by Environmental Utilities’ Water Efficiency team. The Cash for Grass Program offers an incentive for residents to swap out lawn-heavy landscaping for a more water-wise alternative.

Since the program began in 2008, nearly two million square feet of turf has been removed from the city's homes and businesses. The process is simple.

Roseville residents can submit an application and if they qualify, our water efficiency staff will do a site visit of the home and measure the lawn. The new landscape design must also be approved by the technician.

The approved conversion must be completed in 120 days. The homeowner receives $1 for every square foot of turf grass they replaced with water-efficient landscaping, up to $1,000.

Lynda received the $1,000 rebate for replacing her landscape, and enjoys the updated look of her yard.

"It's good because I'm not going to be wasting water, which is the key thing, and it looks very neat and tidy," she said.

Poulton added that the process of working with EU staff was seamless.

"It was a very pleasant experience," she said. "The water department was very user-friendly and I just appreciated the fact that there was a rebate program. I mean, that really helps."

Water efficiency administrator Bobby Alvarez said they have other programs in place, like free Water Wise House Calls and DIY gardening workshops, that help home and business owners in Roseville learn how to save water. Each program helps water efficiency work toward the state-mandated goal of reducing overall water use 20 percent by 2020. Alvarez said those mandates could change based on new state laws, but it's a goal he's still pursuing.

"If people start using water wisely, and start doing these types of ideas, then that will eventually help us to be able to meet the targets that are mandated from the state," said Alvarez.

For more information, visit www.roseville.ca.us/savewater.

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