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California Drought: Cash For Grass In Roseville

Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio News

Roseville Water Efficiency Administrator Lisa Brown stands in front of a stretch of grass at the city's Corporation Yard that will be replaced with drought-resistant landscaping.

Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio News

The City of Roseville is swapping grass for drought-resistant landscaping at Crestmont Park, Roseville Electric Utility and the Roseville Corporation Yard.  

"It's important to get rid of any unused turf and we've been watering and maintaining these grassy areas that nobody is using," said Lisa Brown, Water Efficiency Administrator with the City of Roseville’s Environmental Utilities Department.

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The grass at the entrance to Roseville Electric will be replaced with plants that use less water. Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio News

Brown said replacing the two acres of turf at those locations will save 6.9 million gallons of water a year.

Roseville also offers homeowners and commercial water customers a Cash For Grass Rebate Program, which provides up to $1,000 for converting turf to drought-tolerant landscaping. The program started in 2008.

"Converting these high-use turf areas to water efficient gardens will help us get to the goal of saving 20 percent of our water use by 2020," said Brown. "As soon as we get out of this drought, which I hope is soon, this will be a sustained savings and we won't have to worry about irrigating unused turf anymore."

Brown said the grass will be replaced with "water wise" plants such as lavender, sage and bottlebrush, among others.

Brown said the city will be replacing more areas of grass with drought-resistant plants on property it owns while continuing to encourage homeowners and commercial businesses to yank out grass and replace it with plants that require less water.

She said Roseville's Parks and Recreation Department has saved more than 30 percent of water use during the current California drought. 

Roseville also gives homeowners a ‘how-to’ with its Greener Gardens Tour and Expo on May 16 at the Roseville Utility Exploration Center. 

Listen to the audio above for the full interview with Roseville Water Efficiency Administrator Lisa Brown by Capital Public Radio Reporter Ed Joyce about the city's efforts to conserve water.

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This area of grass on city-owned property along PFE Road in Roseville will be replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping to save water. Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio News