County offers new incentives for water-efficient landscaping

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — New financial incentives are available for homeowners who want to replace water-hungry lawns with more efficient landscaping, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Wednesday.

The agency has $500,000 available from grants awarded by the state Department of Water Resources, and an upcoming grant is expected to add another $600,000.

Qualified applicants can receive up to $1.75 per square foot toward eligible project costs for upgrading 500 to 3,000 square feet of existing turf areas, according to the Water Authority.

Funding for incentives is limited, and will be reserved for completed and approved applications on a first-come, first-served basis. Money from previous incentive programs dried up quickly.

Those interested in participating must be ratepayers within the service areas of the San Diego County Water Authority or the California-American Water Co., and must not remove their turf grass before receiving an official "Notice to Proceed" from the program. Those that use well water or recycled water aren’t eligible.

Once granted the incentive, recipients are required to comply with a set of design criteria that can not include artificial turf, other turf-like grasses or invasive species. Recipients must also include other features such as water-efficient plants, irrigation equipment, soil enhancements and rainwater capture into their design plan.

The incentive program is a partnership of the Water Authority, Association of Compost Producers, the California-American Water Co., the city of San Diego, the county of San Diego and the Surfrider Foundation.

Additional information about eligibility requirements and how to apply go to is online at

Categories: Local San Diego News