Last night, the City Council voted to move forward with a "cash for grass" pilot program, which would pay people to replace their lawns with drought-resistant landscaping and drip irrigation systems.
The vote was unanimous.
"I think this will really help our residents make a difference in saving water," says City Councilman Kevin McCarty. "I think it's time that we, as a city, help incentivize action and conservation."
Under the pilot program, a resident can apply through the city's 3-1-1 program.
If approved, a resident can then submit receipts for new landscaping and irrigation systems to the city.
It's still unclear how much the rebate would be. But the city's Department of Utilities has already set aside $100,000 for the program.
The city is expected to start issuing rebates next month. The Department of Utilities expects the program to be very popular -- and plans for it to continue into next year as well.
January brought above-average rainfall and snow to much of California, partly due to El Niño. But forecasters say the ocean warming condition is "taking a break" for the next week or longer.
The U.S. Drought Monitor says, other than a slight reduction in exceptional drought in the northern Sierra, it needs more time to assess impacts of the recent moisture on California's long-term drought.
California regulators have made modest adjustments to water conservation requirements for cities.
The second measurement this winter of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada was 130 percent of average. State water officials say the snowpack will help reservoir recovery.
California's water conservation rate dropped to 18 percent in December. But water regulators say the state continues to meet its long term goals.