Desert Water Agency augmented its grass removal program budget by $2 million so more customers can apply for the incentive and help save water.

The DWA Board of Directors unanimously approved the additional funding at its regular meeting Tuesday morning. The program started the 2022-23 fiscal year on July 1 with $1.65 million in funds and already almost 78 percent of it is committed. The augmentation more than doubles the program’s budget.

“Removing grass is the best thing most property owners can do to reduce their water footprint,” said Desert Water Agency Board President Kristin Bloomer.

“For us, these incentives are a tool to weather drought and be sustainable in the long run. These projects empower our community to be part of the solution.”

DWA launched its grass removal incentive program in 2014.  In July, the Agency increased the amount it gives customers from $2 to $3 per square foot. For an average front or back yard, the $3 a square foot incentive provides about $4,500 in funding to replace grass with water-efficient plants or artificial turf.

With lots of attention on the statewide drought, there has been more participation in DWA conservations programs – especially the grass removal program.

“Conserving water is always important in our desert and it is important to replace as much grass as possible when demand is high,” said General Manager Mark Krause.

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.

Grass removal funding is available for front and back yards of homes, businesses, HOAs and government agencies. There is no minimum or maximum square footage requirement. Grass must be present when applying and cannot be removed until DWA inspects the property and gives approval.

The online application is easy. Go to to 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