Facing a larger-than-expected demand for help with turf conversions in the city, Rancho Mirage officials on Tuesday approved adding hundreds of thousands more dollars to its turf conversion program.
The news: The Rancho Mirage City Council voted to add $750,000 more to the program, bringing the total available for residents to $2 million.
- With the additional funds, the city said in a news release it now expects approximately 1 million square feet of living turf to be converted to more drought tolerant landscaping. The resulting lower water usage is expected to be “significant.”
Why it matters: The state adopted new emergency water conservation regulations in May, aiming for a more aggressive approach during what has amounted to another severe drought. Water providers, including the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD), were told to expect a 20% water shortage.
- CVWD currently offers rebates of $3 per square foot for property owners who convert lawns to drought tolerant landscaping. Rancho Mirage began matching that amount for home owners — and offering a $1 per square foot rebate for HOAs and businesses — in July.
- “The current program has exceeded all expectations with over 467,517 sq. ft. of projects submitted to date,” a staff report read. “The unanticipated demand of pending projects has placed a reserve on over $1.1 million of the currently allocated budget.”
Looking ahead: CVWD said it will continue to partner with the city to fund its portion of the program, and the city remains open to adding additional funds.