In dry times, many homeowners search for ways to save both money and water. On today’s North Bay Report we profile one local program that is paying residents to get rid of their water-hungry lawns.
Across the United States, there are 40 million acres of turf grass, according to some estimates. That’s more than the land dedicated to corn, wheat and fruit trees -- combined. That makes lawns and yards the nation’s largest irrigated crop.
The city of Santa Rosa's "Green Exchange" Rebate Program [PDF] offers $0.50 for every square foot of lawn that is taken out and replaced with low-water use plants. Rebate maximums are $250 dollars for residents and $2,500 dollars for businesses. Other cities, including Cotati, Petaluma and Windsor offer similar programs.