site banner
Replacing California's Lawns

Outdoor landscaping is the single largest use of water in the typical California home. In most of our yards, grass consumes the most water, so reducing or eliminating how much grass we have in our landscapes can make a significant impact on the state’s water use.

The ongoing drought reinforces the importance of using water more wisely, especially our drinking water. Governor Brown issued an Executive Order on April 1, 2015 that directed the implementation of specific actions to reduce potable water use in the urban sector. Directive number three declared that 50 million square feet of turf be replaced with drought-tolerant landscapes. This is to be accomplished by local water agency programs and a complementing statewide residential turf rebate program implemented by DWR.

Residential Turf Rebate Update

The on-line applications for residential turf removal (and toilet replacement) rebates are available. To submit the application click on the "Rebate Application" link located on the right side menu. Rebates will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. It is recommended that interested applicants submit their application as soon as possible.

The application will require a measurement of the turf area to be removed, 5 current pictures, and a copy of your most recent water bill or electrical bill, if you have private water well.

Institutional Turf Replacement Program Update (New)

To learn more about the Program click on the “Institutional Turf Replacement Program” link on the tool bar located on the right side menu. For the on-line application for the Institutional Turf Replacement Program in the San Joaquin Valley, please click here. [DOC] [PDF]

July Public Workshop Materials

A public meeting was held on Thursday July 2, 2015 to present the initial planning for the Turf Replacement Initiative and to receive comments. The following meeting materials are available:

Turf Initiative Overview

DWR will implement this directive by developing and implementing a turf initiative consisting of three integrated programs:

  1. Residential Turf Rebates Program. Residential turf removal and replacement efforts implemented through customer rebates.

  2. Institutional Turf Replacement Program. Turf removal and replacement efforts targeting non-state government buildings in the San Joaquin Valley that will be conducted in partnership with the California Conservation Corps.

  3. Statewide Campaign to Promote Drought-Tolerant Landscapes. A DWR-led statewide campaign to promote the conversion of lawns to low water use landscapes that will be implemented in partnership with regional and local water agencies.

The initiative will be statewide but will reach out especially to disadvantaged, underserved and drought impacted communities. It is expected that applications for residential rebates will be accepted beginning in August. The details of these programs are still being finalized. Information will be posted on this website when it becomes available.

If you have any questions regarding the residential turf rebate program, please send an e-mail to