LOS ANGELES—The Metropolitan Water District’s rebate budget has been depleted by the large number of people removing their lawns for more drought-resistant alternatives and for the rebates that accompany these changes.
The MWD announced this week that they would be ending their rebate program that allowed people to receive money for removing their grass and replacing it with landscaping that better suited the drought environment. People who have already applied and been accepted for rebates will still receive their allotted money, but those that failed to act before the Thursday deadline are largely out of luck.
MWD announced that the portion of their $450 million budget dedicated to turf rebates had been claimed as of this week. Although the majority of the MWD’s conservation program was dedicated to turf rebates, nearly a quarter of the $450 million budget was for water-saving devices such as efficient dishwashers, washing machines and toilets. Rebates for water-saving devices are still available from MWD and you can apply on their website.
Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said of the turf rebate program, “We knew that the popularity of the turf program would exhaust the available funds at some point, but even we didn’t predict just how popular turf rebates would become.” The MWD began with a budget of only $40 million, but quickly raised that number to $100 million due to soaring popularity. In May, following Governor Jerry Brown’s order to cut statewide residential water usage by a quarter, the MWD increased the conservation program’s budget to $450 million.
The MWD expects that their program will result in over 150 million square feet of turf being removed. Residents who missed out on MWD’s turf rebate can still apply to be on a waiting list in case some people who applied for rebates do not follow through with their turf removal.
An update on the removal program from MWD is expected next week during board and committee meetings.
For more information on MWD’s rebates and programs as well as conservation tips visit the Metropolitan Water Districts website.