The City of Sacramento hopes to start a pilot program that would pay people to replace their front lawns with drought-resistant landscaping and drip irrigation systems. The Department of Utilities has already set aside $100,000 for the pilot program.
Terrance Davis is the Drought and Sustainability Manager for the city. He says the program would focus on water wasted through drainage and outdated or broken sprinkler systems.
"Right now, based on our initial research, we really are focusing on the front yard. I think that's where we're going to get the best bang for our buck in terms of some actual water savings."
Davis says people would use the city's 3-1-1 system to apply for the program.
"They submit their application and are improved for a program they would be able to contact a landscaper do the upgrades themselves to their front yards. And they would get reimbursed upon submission of the receipts. And so, we would verify that the types of plants that they actually installed in their front yards and the irrigation controls met the standards."
Davis says the program would work like the existing toilet rebate program.
City staff have not decided how much of a rebate people would receive.
The City Council is expected to vote on the proposal Tuesday night.
Overall water use decreased again in September compared to last year in the Sacramento region. Water providers are also pumping less groundwater, despite a heavier reliance on it in the drought.
If a flood were to hit Twitchell Island in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta it would threaten much of California’s water supply. It’s why emergency management agencies are holding flood-fighting exercises during a drought.
UC Davis researchers have identified 'high priority' dams in California where releasing water may be a key for the survival of native fish species.
California Governor Jerry Brown says the state can lead the way with its water policies just as California is leading the way with initiatives for renewable energy and climate change.
A winter forecast from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Thursday shows the California drought may persist or intensify in parts of the state.