The Western Municipal Water District in Riverside, California, recently approved an action to increase their turf rebate for select commercial customers to $5 per square foot. The district hopes that the new program will encourage certain customers to swap out turf for more water-wise alternatives, like native plants and wildflowers.

“Western wants to embolden landscape conversions at strategic customer locations that will lower regional water demand,” explained a district representative.

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

With the increased incentive amount, the district has designed many locations for conversion, including city medians, HOA common areas, and multi-family developments.

The program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis, and has a maximum conversion size of 43,560 square feet. To be eligible, turf must be actively growing prior to implementation. The customer’s property must also be inspected by the district.