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LADWP Changes Turf Removal Program Guidelines

LOS ANGELES — The Board of Water and Power Commissioners has adopted changes to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) popular Turf Removal Program aimed at increasing sustainable landscapes in Los Angeles. The amended terms and conditions will continue to promote the installation of native and California Friendly® low water-use plants while ensuring each project incorporates sustainable design elements that benefit the customer and help contribute to the City’s future water conservation goals.

Changes to the turf rebate program include:

-          No longer providing rebates for the installation of synthetic turf;

-          Increasing California Friendly plant coverage required from 40% to 50%;

-          Limiting the amount of rock, gravel, or decomposed granite to 25% of the total project;

-          Incorporating rainfall capture techniques in project designs;

-          No longer permitting the use of synthetic or chemically treated mulch;

-          And recommending the use of biodegradable (natural/organic) weed barriers (instead of synthetic weed barriers).


The program changes will assist LADWP customers in better capturing, conserving, and reusing water to prevent runoff on their property and reduce water demand. In addition to these water-saving benefits, by requiring program participants to minimize the use of materials such as gravel, pavers, decomposed granite, and synthetic turf – materials that often create a “heat island” effect on properties by absorbing the sun’s heat – LADWP aims to lower surface and temperatures on properties. This added benefit may assist customers in limiting energy use by reducing the need for air conditioning.

“Through a sustainable design approach, customers will experience an improved landscape that provides both water and energy saving benefits for years to come,” LADWP General Manager David Wright said.

LADWP’s current residential turf removal rebate is unchanged at $1.75 per square of grass removed and converted to a California Friendly landscape (with a maximum of 1,500 square feet per project).

In preparation for a turf removal project, customers are encouraged to attend a free, three hour long California Friendly® Landscape Training Workshop. Topics covered include: Using a Holistic Approach to Gardening; Building a Living Soil Sponge; Rethinking Elements of Your Site; Right Plant, Right Place; Using Rainwater as a Resource; and Managing Irrigation. Attendees learn how installing a California Friendly garden can build healthy soils, expand habitat for pollinators, and capture storm water by using berms, swales, raingardens, rain barrels, and cisterns. To learn more about LADWP’s free landscape training workshops and obtain other California Friendly® landscaping tips, visit

Customers interested in learning more about the pre-approval process and full terms and conditions of LADWP’s Turf Removal Program can visit

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