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LADWP Newsroom


DATE: June 2, 2009 8:07:48 AM PDT

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LOS ANGELES — In addition to enacting mandatory water conservation among all its customers on June 1, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has announced a new program to encourage customers to replace traditional grass lawns with drought tolerant plants.   

The Residential Drought Resistant Landscape Incentive Program will pay single family residential customers $1 for each square foot of turf removed and replaced with drought tolerant plants, mulching and water-permeable hardscapes. Customers' plans must be pre-approved by the LADWP prior to installation and evidence of installation must be provided after the landscaping is replaced in order to receive the rebate. LADWP’s Water Conservation Division staff will conduct pre-and post-audits of all applicant's landscapes.

"Our rebates for water-efficient appliances and fixtures continue to be available and have been highly successful in helping our customers reduce their indoor water use significantly. Now we turn our attention to expanding water conservation outside the home," said David Nahai, LADWP Chief Executive Officer and General Manager. "As we ask our customers to cut back on their outdoor watering, the landscaping incentive provides a great alternative to maintaining their lawns."

The Residential Drought Resistant Landscape Incentive Program is launched as three years of below-average snowfall and the toll of climate change and regulatory factors have resulted in water shortages from LADWP’s major water sources -- the Eastern Sierras and the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta.

The Department estimates that with 30-40% of water use occurring outdoors, replacing traditional lawns with drought tolerant varieties presents a viable option for significant water savings throughout the city.  One square foot of traditional lawn needs approximately 50 inches of water per year.  In comparison, most drought tolerant plants need approximately 15 inches of water or less per square foot per year. In an average year, Los Angeles receives about 15 inches of rain per year.

For information on the Residential Drought Resistant Landscape Incentive Program, please call 888-376-3314.  For information on any of the Department’s numerous other rebate and incentive opportunities, please visit and click on “Rebates and Programs” or call 1-800 DIAL DWP and speak with a customer service professional.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power was established more than 100 years ago to provide a reliable and safe water and electric supply to the City of Los Angeles residents and businesses. The LADWP serves approximately 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water service customers. For more information, log on to


For more information contact:
Jane Galbraith
LADWP Public Affairs
(213) 367-1361