From the San Diego County Water Authority —
Residents in San Diego County now can receive $2.75 per square foot for replacing turf with sustainable landscaping features as part of a new Landscape Transformation Program launched today across Southern California.

The new program includes a partnership by the San Diego County Water Authority and the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to boost the per-square-foot incentive amount available in the Water Authority’s service area and streamline the application process.

“Over the past few years, the Water Authority has helped foster sustainable landscaping through financial incentives, a demonstration garden, hands-on classes and publication of a detailed guidebook,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “We’re excited to take the next step so that homeowners in the San Diego region can maximize their rebates with one application.”

The new incentive program builds on the success of the Water Authority’s pioneering Sustainable Landscapes Program, which in October 2016 started offering up to $1.75 per square foot toward project costs for upgrading as much as 3,000 square feet of existing turf. That program helped more than 175 homeowners transform their landscapes into beautiful, climate-appropriate mini-watersheds that not only save water, but achieve additional benefits such as reducing stormwater runoff and lessening green waste. Incentive payments required following a detailed set of environmentally friendly landscaping practices to ensure projects achieved a heightened level of sustainability.

Moving forward, residents in San Diego County are eligible for MWD’s Landscape Transformation Program, which includes requirements for grass removal, irrigation modification and water retention or filtration to support reuse or soil absorption of rainwater. For residents, MWD is offering $1 and the Water Authority will use existing grant funds from the state Department of Water Resources to add $1.75 per square foot for a total of $2.75 for qualifying projects. Businesses are eligible for $1 per square foot. City of San Diego residential water customers are eligible for an additional $1.25 per square foot for qualifying projects.

Program funding is limited, and participants must comply with requirements that include a simple landscape plan, plant coverage, mulch, rainwater capture and irrigation technology. Qualifying projects generally must remove between 250 and 1,500 square feet of turf in the front yard, though some exceptions apply.

Please Note: Important Information from Metropolitan
The Landscape Transformation program is a two-part application process. In order to receive a rebate, you must apply to reserve rebate funds prior to starting your project. After the reservation, you will have 180 days to complete the project and submit your request for a rebate. Helix customers should prepare and submit their applications as quickly as possible — while the funding is available — knowing that you have through the end of the year to complete the installation of your new landscaping.

Note, too, that depending on the conversion methods used in your landscape transformation project, you may be eligible for additional rebates on weather based irrigation controllers, soil moisture sensors, rotating nozzles, rain barrels or cisterns.

Removing turf grass is one of the best upgrades residents or businesses can make to reduce their water use.

Learn more about eligibility, terms and conditions and how to apply at www.socalwatersmart.com