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 He says the program would focus on water wasted through drainage and outdated or broken sprinkler systems.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.
Record summer heat has increased fire risk in California and the Western U.S. as drought conditions expand.
Statewide water conservation exceeded the mandatory goal in May and Sacramento reduced water use 40 percent.
In the fourth year of drought in California, sales and use of "safe and sane" fireworks are restricted in some areas, allowed in others.
A California Assembly committee will hear a bill Wednesday that would allow water districts to impose taxes on any business, industry or person who wastes water.
The drought can be blamed for a number of problems and the latest is a major decline in the duck population. A new survey shows lack of rain has led to poor habitats.