Los Angeles Boosts Incentive to Replace Grass, Save Water

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, the utility that serves about 1.5 million Southern California customers, is offering residents more money to tear out grass and replace it with native plants that require less water.

LADWP will pay residential customers $2 for every square foot (0.09 square meters) of grass they replace, up from the current $1.50 incentive, the utility said today in a statement.

About 40 percent of the city’s water is used outdoors, and the utility is seeking ways to conserve more for use indoors after a dry winter, according to James McDaniel, senior assistant general manager of the LADWP water system. Snowpack in the state, which typically provides about a third of California’s water for homes and farms, was measured at about 17 percent of normal in May.

“Traditional grass landscape requires a lot of water, but we can replace it with plants that are natural to the California climate, attractive, easy to maintain and more water-wise,” he said in the statement.

The Las Vegas Valley Water District offers $1.50 a square foot under a similar program.