Environment & Science

Drought: More lawn rebates available as water brokers boost conservation fund

A woman works among drought-tolerant plants in her front yard Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in San Diego. Southern California's wholesaler, Metropolitan Water District, has boosted its conservation budget to $100 million.
A woman works among drought-tolerant plants in her front yard Wednesday, July 9, 2014, in San Diego. Southern California's wholesaler, Metropolitan Water District, has boosted its conservation budget to $100 million.
Gregory Bull/AP

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If you’re thinking about ripping out your lawn for a water saving rebate, your chance of getting one just got better.

This week, the board for the Metropolitan Water District, the area’s biggest wholesaler, boosted its conservation program by $40 million.

Consumers claimed over $18 million of that money in the first year of the program. In the first five months, they’ve claimed almost as much again. Much of the interest stems from lawn replacement programs starting at $2 a square foot. Metropolitan General Manager says overall rebate requests already are more than double the amount of remaining conservation money.   

Metropolitan Water District now has $100 million to dole out to people and businesses who replace their lawns or buy low-flow toilets. The increase follows a bump of $20 million the board approved earlier this year because of the state’s ongoing drought.