Palm Springs would be the fourth Coachella Valley city to match incentives for turf conversion if a measure on its agenda later this week moves forward.
Driving the news: The City Council will consider legislation authorizing the city to initially spend $150,000 in sustainability funds to match rebates offered by Desert Water Agency (DWA) at its regular meeting Thursday evening.
- DWA currently offers up to $3 per square foot for customers replacing their lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping. The city would match that amount, ensuring that a total of $6 per square foot would be available to eligible projects.
Details: A staff report being reviewed by councilmembers recommends matching up to $5,000 per project, with $100,000 allocated for HOAs and $50,000 available for individual residences.
- Projects using artificial turf would not be eligible for the rebate funding.
Why it matters: Grass is the largest irrigated crop in America, surpassing corn and wheat. It’s estimated that up to 75% of some homes’ water use is spent on lawns. Replacing grass with anything else during a drought is a no-brainer.
Larger picture: In September, the Palm Desert City Council approved matching rebates currently offered by the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD), putting up to $1 million into a fund. A similar move was made by Rancho Mirage in August. Indian Wells also provides matching grants.
- Residents of Palm Springs have been asking City Hall for similar moves ever since DWA began recommending and imposing measures aimed at saving water.
- The city has been doing its part, aiming to replace ornamental lawns with desert landscape at many parks.
You can turn here to learn more about the DWA rebate program.