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'Cash for Grass' rebate program back in Arroyo Grande

The City of Arroyo Grande
Each year, over 50% of Arroyo Grande's water is used to water landscaping

A water-saving rebate program that led hundreds of people in Arroyo Grande to take out their green lawns during the years of 2009 to 2015 in exchange for water-efficient landscape is back due to the severe drought.

With Lopez Lake’s dwindling water supply, Arroyo Grande Utilities Manager Shane Taylor said more water restrictions may be coming down the pipe.

To help conserve water, Taylor said the city is bringing back the popular Cash for Grass program.

“Water is very precious here on the Central Coast," Taylor said. " And we are striving to help our customers become more sustainable, and this is a good way to do it.”

Taylor said each year, over 50% of the City's water is used to water landscaping. The Cash for Grass program will pay people $1 per square foot of grass removed with a minimum of 500 square feet and a maximum of 5,000 square feet of landscape removal.

But, he said residents can’t just tear out their lawns.

“We want it to look nice," Taylor said. "We don’t want just barren ground, or just dead front lawns with nothing on it.”

Taylor said residents are already showing interest in the rebate program, and the trend so far is people switching to synthetic grass.

“It looks really good. The technology is permeable," Taylor said. "You don’t have to mow it, or water it. You just have to vacuum it every now and then probably!"

The city has set aside $200,000 to fund the rebate program for the next two years. Taylor said it’ll not only help conserve water, but will help residents save money.

He said with the ongoing drought, this program is important to take advantage of now, since it’s on a first come, first serve basis. 

“We are going to need it," Taylor said. "We are going to need to try to help our customers before we lay some more restrictions on them to give them an option to try and save water.”

To learn more about the program and to apply, click here.

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