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More SCV residents sign up to cash in their lawns

Posted: August 6, 2014 6:42 p.m.
Updated: August 6, 2014 6:42 p.m.

Close to 100 Santa Clarita Valley residents are tossing out their lawns and cashing in on a water conservation program that offers them $2 for every square foot of that green expanse that they replace.

“The Lawn Replacement Program is moving along at a fast place,” Dirk Marks, water resources manager for the Castaic Lake Water Agency, said Wednesday.

Although he reported “no uptick” in program registrants since state water regulators announced a crackdown on water-wasters July 15, the numbers show a recent robust response.

“We are in the process of doing site visits for the residents with complete applications and corresponding with customers with incomplete applications to make them complete,” Marks said.

To date, 99 customers have started the program, meaning they’ve filled out a preliminary application and have been validated as a “real” residential customer. At least 73 of them have already completed the required educational class and assessment.

“What we have found most challenging is that people need to provide a plant list in order for us to calculate plant coverage, and their lists are often incomplete, which slows down the process,” he said.

On June 30, through the Lawn Replacement Program, Castaic Lake water officials began offering homeowners $2 for every square foot of lawn they remove from their home, Marks said. Participants stand to receive up to $5,000 per property under the program.

By July 31, after one month, at least 25 homeowners swapped their lawns for cash through the program, he said.

On July 29, Santa Clarita Valley water agencies announced they were poised to adopt strict watering calendars that would allow watering only three times a week during the warm months and twice a week during the cooler months.

And enrolment in the lawn-swap program quadrupled in the last week, from 25 to 99.

“The (Lawn Replacement) Program is designed to encourage those that currently have lawns to reduce their water usage by making other landscaping choices,” Marks said.

For more information on the Lawn Replacement Program, smart sprinklers or other water-saving tips, visit the Castaic Lake Water Agency website at
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