Desert Water Agency added $1 million to its water conservation budget so that more customers can get an incentive to replace grass.
The DWA Board of Directors unanimously approved the additional funding Tuesday morning. This is the second increase that the Board approved this budget year to keep up with the demand of the popular program.
The program started the 2022-23 fiscal year on July 1 with $1.65 million in funds. A $2 million budget augmentation was approved in October. All $3.65 million in program funds has already been spent or is committed.
With lots of attention on drought and local cities stepping up to fund projects, there has been more participation in DWA conservations programs – especially the grass removal program, which started in 2014.
The additional $1 million will allow customers that have already applied to get their projects funded. It will also allow for more customers to get new conversion projects funded without waiting until the new budget in July.
More than 70 percent of water in the Coachella Valley is used outdoors, so replacing grass with drought tolerant plants or artificial turf is the best way to save water.
The current incentive is $3 per square foot replaced. Low-income residents may qualify for up to $8 per square foot.
Grass removal funding is available for homes, businesses, HOAs and government agencies. There is no minimum or maximum square footage requirement and all areas with grass are eligible. Grass must be present when applying and cannot be removed until DWA inspects the property and gives approval.
Go to www.dwa.org/grass to learn more about the program or apply.
DWA also offers incentives on smart controllers (up to $250), water efficient nozzles ($5 per nozzle plus an extra $2 per nozzle for install), and EnergyStar washing machines (up to $250).
To learn more about incentives, go to www.dwa.org/save