Riverside, Calif. – When drought prompted the Governor to call for increased conservation, Western Municipal Water District answered by immediately reaching out to customers to remind them of the mandatory water use restrictions. Going above and beyond, the District worked over the last weeks and months to create even bigger and better ways for customers to save more, and today a milestone was reached – the Board of Directors approved an action to increase the Turf Rebate for select and specific commercial customers to $5 per square foot. “Western wants to embolden landscape conversions at strategic customer locations that will lower regional water demand,” explained Board Member Tom Evans.

Eliminating grass - with its constant need for water, maintenance and associated wasted runoff – is one sure way to lower demand during the drought. Today’s board action will encourage specific commercial customers to exchange this thirsty vegetation in favor of a more low-water use landscape.

This enhanced incentive, likely the highest in the region, is available in part due to funding received from Western’s imported water supplier, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. They provide the baseline of $2 per square foot. Western generates the additional funding from its penalty water budget tiers.

Often times the major hurdle for implementing water-efficient landscapes is the expense of the transformation. With an increased incentive amount, the District has designated conversions at city medians or strips, homeowner association common areas, multi-family developments and other areas as possible benefactors that will help lower water demand in the service area.

The program is available on a first come, first served basis and has a maximum conversion size of 43,560-square feet. Along with receiving notice from Western to proceed, turf must be actively growing prior to implementation and the customers’ property must be pre-inspected by the District. For more information, contact Western’s Water Use Efficiency team at 951.571.7100.