Anthem Replaces California Lawn Amid Drought, Thanks to Subsidy

Anthem Inc. replaced 12.7 acres of lawn -- about 10 football fields -- at its Woodland Hills, California, campus, taking advantage of a government subsidy to install drought-friendly plants as the region copes with a severe dry spell.

Using funds from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the second-biggest U.S. health insurer said it replaced the grass with 8,500 plants, including crape myrtle trees, flax bushes and sage leaf rockroses. The $1.1 million cost of the project was offset by the water department’s rebate, Anthem said.

People and organizations across California are turning to more drought-tolerant landscape designs amid the state’s water shortage. Anthem expects to save 12 million gallons of water a year, reducing the company’s annual water bill by $65,000.

“We all need to cut back our water use and be responsible members of our society,” Jim Ardell, Anthem’s vice president for corporate real estate and chief procurement officer, said in a statement.

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