Update: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California temporarily ended its rebate program due to a lack of funding. The District created a new wait list that anyone can join. Once the rebates become available, the District will award the discounts to those on the list.
Replacing natural grass with artificial grass is one of the best ways to save money and protect the environment. Natural grass, also known as turf grass, requires a high amount of water every year. Many parts of southern California go through a water shortage and require locals to use less water. Homeowners often find that as they use less water, their lawns develop yellow or brown patches and that their lawns eventually die. Turf grass also requires a high level of maintenance, especially in regards to mowing and weeding. Those looking for a suitable alternative to turf grass will find that artificial grass is a better option.
The San Diego County Water Authority introduced a new program in 2015 that allowed locals to replace their turf grass with artificial grass. In the hopes of getting more people involved with the pilot phase of the program, the SDCWA created an artificial grass rebate to go along with the program. This allows San Diego residents to purchase all the artificial turf and other supplies they need for 10 percent less than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price. This discount to both those who hire someone to install the grass and those who do the job themselves.
This new program differentiates between those who have lawns with more than or less than 25% living landscape. Living landscape refers to the portion of the yard filled with living plants and vegetation. If a yard has living vegetation of 25% or more, those living there can save a maximum of $1.50 for each square foot of turf they replace. Residents must agree to use new plants and vegetation that require less water and plants that will replace the same amount of vegetation initially removed. To qualify for the discount, residents must also agree to cover the rest of their lawns with a surface that will prevent the waste of rainwater.
Less Living Landscape
The grass rebate applies to those with lawns that feature less living landscape. If the yard has less than 25% living landscape, residents can qualify for a discount of no more than $1 per square foot. Those applying for the rebate must show that will replace their lawns with an artificial product that will not spread to neighboring properties and that they will cover the remaining portion of the lawn with a material designed to prevent rainwater runoff.
Water Wise Grass can help San Diego residents take advantage of this rebate. Locals can call (858) 384-4502 to learn more.
Though the program is open to all property owners in San Diego and neighboring areas, not all projects qualify for the discounts. Any project begun before the start of the program does not qualify. Residents also cannot get the discount if they plan to replace the grass with a garden, use any type of irrigation comprised of recycled water, have sidewalks or want to use plants that are invasive and/or require a high amount of water. The discount does not apply to retaining walls, water fountains or any tools used in the project.
San Diego County created the artificial grass rebate as a way to reward those who replace turf and vegetation that uses a high amount of water with vegetation or artificial grass that requires little to no water. Locals can contact Water Wise Grass for more details about the program.
1. The City of San Diego, “Rebate Programs: Grass Replacement Rebates“