The replacement of natural, irrigated lawn with low water use features (plants and permeable non-plant material) and the conversion of associated sprinkler irrigation to drip or soaker hose type irrigation would be eligible for an incentive of $0.50 per square foot of irrigated lawn area converted. Sprinkler irrigation conversions to drip or soaker hose type irrigation alone without the removal of lawn would be eligible for a $0.25 incentive for each square foot of irrigated landscape area converted, not to exceed a rebate amount of $2,000.00 per site.
Project Criteria for the Lawn and Sprinkler Replacement Incentive
- It must be possible to water remaining grass areas separately from other bedding areas.
- It must be possible to water high water need plants (such as vegetables, or annuals) separately from other areas.
- As designed, the estimated water use of the new landscape must be lower than that of the landscape replaced.
- To reduce water loss through evaporation, a 3" layer of mulch material must be used in planting beds.
- Manual irrigation controls are permitted in the completed project. No automatic rain shut off device is required on manually controlled systems. It is advised to operate drip irrigation with a timer or dedicated shut off device.
- The irrigation system must be in a good state of repair and must water areas with reasonable efficiency such that it can be used without water waste. Examples of unacceptable waste would be: excessive water hitting non-plant areas, excessive water in specific areas or too little water in others, or pooling water from ineffective spray.
- The determination of the eligible square footage of lawn or sprinkler system replacement is at the discretion of the MCWD staff.
- For the Lawn and Sprinkler Replacement Incentive in areas with permanent, automated irrigation, the eligible square footage is that area receiving irrigation coverage.
- For manually irrigated lawn replacement, without the removal of an established irrigation system, Lawn Area is that area occupied by lawn, not necessarily the area receiving irrigation coverage. Lawn shall be defined as a uniform, established planting of desirable grasses that is regularly watered, manicured, and cared for.
Calculation of Potential Water Savings
Conversion of 1,000 square feet of turf grass to drought tolerant, low water use plants is estimated to reduce the water requirement by 77 percent. The reduction in plant water needs is lowered from approximately 37,200 gallons per year to 8,680 gallons per year per 1,000 square feet.
Replacing 1,000 square feet of turf grass would save approximately 28,520 gallons of water. The annual estimated water savings for a typical 500 square-foot lawn conversion project in Marina is $53.38, and a conversion project of 1,000 square feet would save $106.76 annually.