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 He says the program would focus on water wasted through drainage and outdated or broken sprinkler systems.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.
California has received less than 60 percent of the rain and snow this water year that it normally gets. Water managers are warning the new water year may be just as bad.
New motors, screens, and some casing repairs are in the works for eight of Sacramento's water wells. Some of the wells are more than 400-feet deep.
A long-range U.S. government forecast shows the drought in California will stick around.
The drought has farmers cutting back on watering, but some San Joaquin County growers say less water can mean a better crop.
The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities reports Friday that city water customers saved more than one-billion gallons of water last month.