As of mid August 2014, the number of California residents who were willing to surrender their lawns in exchange of rebates has gone very high up when compared to the past five years. This is according to reports that were published by the water agency Monday.
In recent months, the metropolitan water district has raised the amount of water rebated from $1 per square feet to $2 per square foot, thus making it attractive for many people who want to give up their lawns for the money.
This has been done as a water conservation measure aimed at cutting down on the amount of water which is used on non essential tasks.
According to MWD, there were about 1,665 requests to remove front yards from people’s homes and this translated to two million five hundred thousand square feet.
“The huge response from the public is a clear sign that the people of southern California are willing to get engaged in finding long lasting water problem solution especially for now that California is hard hit by drought,” said Randy Record who chairs the MWD board.
For the past seven months, commercial rebates almost tripled while residential incentives were almost doubled.
Moreover, available statistics show that there was a drop of demand for imported water by 15% despite the population of the MWD coverage surging by about half a million people.
“The increased water efficiency in southern California have been replicated in many parts of the region and this has seen a drop of about 25% in water usage when compared to two decades ago,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, the general manager of MWD.
In some cities, mandatory measures have been put in place with the aim of helping reduce water wastage. For instance, watering of yards and lawns has been reduced to two days a week while cars can only be washed with a water system that use shut off nozzles.
Anyone who goes against these regulations is warned through a letter before being forced to pay a fine. However, in most cities within California, this seems not to be working as expected.
But even the imposition of fines seems not to be working, therefore prompting some officials in cities located within the boundaries of the greater California to convince or persuade people to conserve water on their own volition and also take advantage of the available rebates to conserve water.