I was excited to hear on the radio the other day that, in addition to its strict new lawn sprinkler regulations, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power just unveiled a lawn-removal rebate program.
The official title is the Residential Drought Resistant Landscape Incentive Program, and the goal is to encourage Los Angeles residents to remove their lawns in favor of drought-tolerant landscaping, water-permeable hardscaping or mulch. They'll give you a dollar for every square foot of lawn you remove and replace, which is pretty great considering you'll already be saving a bunch on your water bill just by eliminating all that expensive grass-watering.
I really appreciate the fact that the LADWP isn't just penalizing water wasting like leaky sprinklers and driveway washing, but is also incentivizing water conservation when it comes to yards. Xeriscaping is already pretty popular in my neighborhood, but hopefully now that you get a little cash back for doing it, even more people will rip out their grass and put in California natives. The bees will be so happy!
It's too late for me to cash in on the rebate, but if you're thinking about taking out your lawn and want to know more about the LADWP program (which requires pre-approval), go here.
And here are my posts about my xeriscaped front yard:
UPDATE: I've noticed quite a few people coming here using search terms like "LA DWP lawn removal," so I wanted to link to a resource that I think would be really helpful for people who want to get rid of their grass lawns. The Garden Punks blog has a couple of great, step-by-step posts about sheet mulching, and their most recent one is really informative (and well-illustrated). If I'd known about it at the time, I would have definitely used their technique when removing my lawn. So, if you're planning to take out some grass and cash in on the DWP rebate, I recommend you check it out.