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 He says the program would focus on water wasted through drainage and outdated or broken sprinkler systems.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.
The U.S. Drought Center says the past week brought "widespread improvements" in drought conditions in northern California and Nevada.
California's energy grid manager says supply should be adequate for the summer, despite potential natural gas shortages in Southern California.
California water regulators will allow cities and water agencies to set their own conservation targets based on water supply.
Fire agencies are expected to continue prescribed burn operations this week in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Severe and extreme drought were reduced slightly in California and 10 percent of the state is completely free of drought.