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.
The drought in California, in its fifth consecutive year, has created conditions that are ripe for wildfires. The National Interagency Fire Center predicts "above normal" fire potential through September for portions of California, Nevada and Idaho.
A new report shows there are certain highways in California that are "hot spots" for wildlife-vehicle collisions.
A new report says more people in California are at risk from wildfire and fires are starting earlier and are three times larger than in the 1970s.
A new study finds California’s Central Valley has three times more water beneath it than previously estimated.
UPDATE June 26: Fire managers says the Erskine Fire near Lake Isabella in Kern County has grown to 43,460 acres and is 40 percent contained. Two people have died, and more than 250 structures have been destroyed and an additional 75 damaged.