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14 July 2023

California's Cash for Grass Program: A Lifeline for Homeowners' Landscapes

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SoCal Admin
14 July 2023 

California's Cash for Grass program is a game-changer for homeowners seeking to revitalize their landscapes while conserving water and reducing their environmental footprint. Explore how this program can be a lifeline for homeowners, providing both financial incentives and environmental benefits.

The Benefits of Cash for Grass for Homeowners

California is no stranger to droughts. The region often goes through periods when there is very little rain, resulting in reduced water availability. Such scarcity of water sources can significantly affect not only the business and agriculture sectors but also the residential areas. Aside from the lesser frequency of rain, the rapidly growing population in the region also puts pressure on the availability of usable water in California.

Conserving water helps ensure there is enough water to meet essential needs during dry periods. Water conservation also helps balance the water needs of a growing population and reduces the burden on the existing water sources.

In an effort to motivate homeowners to participate in the state's initiative to conserve water during drought, California unveiled its Cash for Grass program in 2009. Under the Cash for Grass program, eligible homeowners receive cash incentives for removing their existing water-splurging turf and replacing them with drought-tolerant alternatives like native plants, succulents, or artificial turf.

Although the initiative was implemented in California, the eligibility, rate of rebate, and availability may differ across different regions within the state. The cash incentive may range from $1 to $5 per square foot, while the payment cap goes from $1,000 to $25,000 per residential property.

Water Conservation Made Easy

Water scarcity is not an issue that the local government can handle alone. Homeowners should also join the initiative of water conservation. Simple things like conserving water at home or implementing water-saving solutions and water-efficient landscapes can provide a great help in the overall effort to reduce excess water consumption.

Through the Cash for Grass program, the local council and the homeowners join hands in battling the negative effects of droughts and ensuring there is enough water available to meet the needs of the people, plants and animals.

Transforming Landscape with Drought-Tolerant Plants

In California, using drought-tolerant plants is one of the best landscape design and construction practices. These softscapes need less water to survive, perfect for dry and drought-prone environments like Southern California. Also known as xeriscaping, drought-tolerant landscaping incorporates native plants in the design and construction of the yard. Using these plants helps achieve water-wise gardening that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation.

Like other softscapes, Drought-resistant plants come in a wide selection of shapes, sizes and colors. They can create beautiful and diverse landscapes, adding visual interest and enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces. From vibrant flowering plants to unique succulents and grasses, there are plenty of options when incorporating drought-tolerant plants in landscape design and construction.

A Win-Win for Homeowners and the Environment

With California’s Cash for Grass program, homeowners can convert their water-hungry turf to a more water-efficient and sustainable landscape in a more cost-effective way through rebates. Homeowners will not only save money from the reduced water consumption but can also reduce the time and effort needed for regular maintenance.

Also, the Cash for Grass initiative can help lessen the water demand in the drought season. This decrease in the need for water for residential or commercial use will not strain the environment's supply, ensuring self-sufficiency in times of scarcity. According to a study from UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, a household in a medium climate zone can save around 44 gallons per sq. ft. a year. Meanwhile, a household in a high climate zone can save 20% more gallons per year than one in a medium climate zone, and those in a low climate zone save 20% fewer gallons of water per year.

Partnering with Professional Landscape Designers

Replacing a turf for a more water-efficient landscape is not an easy task. Although doing it in a small to medium lot is somehow manageable, large areas require the help of professionals. Landscape design professionals can help create a water-efficient and sustainable outdoor space that enhances the property's visual appeal.

When looking for a sustainable landscape contractor, homeowners should consider the services offered. It is better to hire a water-wise landscape architect and contractor capable of providing a wide range of services than paying multiple contractors. Aside from landscape design and installation, household owners should also consider the availability of drought-efficient irrigation systems, the utilization of mulch, and the incorporation of native lawns/grasses when choosing a licensed landscape contractor.


California's Cash for Grass program presents homeowners with an incredible opportunity to rejuvenate their landscapes while making a positive impact on water conservation efforts. Participating in the program not only brings financial benefits but also allows homeowners to contribute to a greener and more sustainable California. Take advantage of Cash for Grass today and embark on your journey to a beautiful, water-wise landscape that will enhance your property and benefit the environment for years to come.

So-Cal Ponds, Inc is a California licensed landscape contractor offering services featuring xeriscaping. From using arbors and decomposed granite walkways to implementing mulching, swales and native plants, So-Cal Ponds, Inc can revamp any turf into a drought-tolerant landscape. Aside from those, So-Cal Ponds, Inc also offers drought-efficient irrigation systems like drip irrigation to improve the water-saving and sustainability of the landscape. Request a quote now and experience the best and most proficient drought-resistant landscaping service perfect for California’s Cash for Grass program.


So-Cal Ponds is here to help.


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(818) 541-9944

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