Fresno's Lawn Removal Rebate to return amid drought emergency

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Governor Newsom included Fresno County in expanding the state's list of counties in a drought emergency.

But at this point, no limitations on outdoor watering were planned in Fresno.

If you're thinking about removing your front lawn to reduce water usage, a rebate program through the City of Fresno could earn you up to $1,500.

Fresno residents can still water outdoors three times a week.

Given our drought conditions, Water Conservation Supervisor Conrad Braganza said conservation has become a way of life.

He explained, "This year, we don't have drought restrictions in place yet but we are asking to voluntarily conserve water and do their part."

During drought years, some people have considered removing their lawn to help save water.

Braganza said on July 1, the city will bring back its lawn to garden rebate program.

He added, "The big change in that is that we've increased the dollar amount from $.50 per square foot to $1 a square foot and instead of 1,000 square feet, you can get up to 1,500 square feet."

Which would translate into a $1500 rebate.

Residents would be required to put in drought-tolerant landscaping.

Synthetic turf will no longer be covered under the city's rebate program.

Braganza said, "Artificial lawns are aesthetically pleasing, however, there are also environmental reasons that they're not fully sustainable."

People have already been calling and asking about the rebate program.

The online application doesn't open until July 1st.

At this point, Fresno's three-day-a-week watering schedule was expected to last into the summer.

But if the local water supply drops, changes could be made to that schedule.
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