A provocatively-named city program called Cash For Grass entices Napa residents and businesses to reduce their water consumption.
Voluntarily cutting water use could help ease the pain when . But in case that's not appealing enough, the city is sweetening the deal:
Cash for Grass pays home water users up to $500 to replace about 1,000 feet of water-guzzling lawns.
Businesses can receive a check for up to $2,500 for removing 5,000 square feet of lawn.
So far, 120 Napans have applied for the Cash for Grass program, according to Patrick Costello, water resources analyst for the .
Sixty-two have completed the process and received their checks, Costello said.
Marshall Hart, city water conservation representative, said “It’s all about changing their mind set.”
Lawns account for the largest portion of a water bill, according to Costello.
In the 2011 fiscal year ending in June, Napa gave out $35,000 in its first year of Cash for Grass.
That translates into about 83,000 square feet of lawn and other high-water-use plants, such as vegetables, converted to water-stingy landscaping.
Alternatives to thirsty turf include Mediterranean plant varieties, succulents, cactus, hardscape or an artificial lawn. Each requires little or no watering.
Cash for Grass is funded by the city for at least the next two fiscal years to the tune of $50,000 each year, according to Costello.
One of the qualifications of the program is that the lawns must be healthy and not already dead. Hart does a pre-and -post inspection of the property.
“Water conservation has been mandated by the state, requiring cities to lower water usage 20 percent by 2020,” Costello said.
State bond money is assisting with funding the Cash for Grass conservation program, he said.
To determine whether you qualify for the Cash for Grass program, call Hart at (707) 257-9497 at the .
For more information: www.cityofnapa.org/water.