Last night, the City Council voted to move forward with a "cash for grass" pilot program, which would pay people to replace their lawns with drought-resistant landscaping and drip irrigation systems.
The vote was unanimous.
"I think this will really help our residents make a difference in saving water," says City Councilman Kevin McCarty. "I think it's time that we, as a city, help incentivize action and conservation."
Under the pilot program, a resident can apply through the city's 3-1-1 program.
If approved, a resident can then submit receipts for new landscaping and irrigation systems to the city.
It's still unclear how much the rebate would be. But the city's Department of Utilities has already set aside $100,000 for the program.
The city is expected to start issuing rebates next month. The Department of Utilities expects the program to be very popular -- and plans for it to continue into next year as well.
Last year, California saw everything from intense drought to torrential rain. Researchers and water agencies say that the future of the state’s drought depends on adapting to these shifts.
As the drought dries up California’s wetlands, traveling birds such as ducks, geese and eagles are struggling to survive and breed. “This drought is bad. The odds are against us,” a state expert said.
Drought resilience depends on location but also extraordinary engineering — determining which California places are running out of water this year and which remain in good shape.
About 4,300 users were issued notices to halt diversions from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
Experts say the current drought is hotter and drier than previous ones, meaning water is evaporating faster.
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