More drought-tolerant landscaping incentives could come from Metropolitan Water District

The board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District will consider a proposal today to add $350 million to its budget to provide rebates and incentives for Southland residents to remove water-guzzling turf and install low-water-use fixtures.

If the board approves the increase, it would bring the MWD’s two-year conservation budget to $450 million.

According to an MWD staff report, there has been an “unprecedented increase in additional requests for turf-removal projects” since Gov. Jerry Brown called for 25 percent reduction in water use across the state.

In the three weeks following Brown’s order, turf-removal requests increased above $10 million, including between 2,500 and 3,000 residential removal requests per week.

“In the recent two weeks, additional requests for turf removal more than tripled to above $32.8 million for the week ending on May 3 and more than quadrupled to $48.2 (million) for the week ending on May 10,” according to the MWD report.

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