The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Board of Commissioners recently approved new turf removal rebate guidelines to make better use of rainwater and to help build living soil. The new guidelines were prompted by a motion introduced by Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, 5th District.
Directing rainwater for plants and replenishing groundwater will prevent polluted runoff, which helps meet federal Clean Water Act requirements to clean up creeks, the Los Angeles River and the ocean, Koretz said. The improved guidelines follow the “watershed approach,” which focuses on building living soil, retaining rain, using climate-appropriate plants and utilizing high-efficiency irrigation devices as needed. The LADWP turf replacement rebate is $1.75 per square foot of lawn and inefficient irrigation system converted to meet “watershed approach” recommendations. The new guidelines will take effect Sept. 1.
“As we continue our essential water conservation rebates, we absolutely need to maximize the bang for our bucks,” Koretz said. “The watershed approach achieves multiple benefits and spread widely, can help the city reduce its $8 billion storm water compliance bill.”
Adoption of the guidelines fits with the governor’s executive order to increase water conservation. Los Angeles will be the first city in the state to require the “watershed approach” guidelines, and will set an example for the rest of the state, Koretz said. The LADWP is the largest municipal utility in the United States.
Additional benefits of the “watershed approach” include reductions in greenhouse gas. Retaining the rain onsite will also help reduce flooding.
“Retaining rainwater, the main change to the rebate guidelines, is as simple as shaping the land to have a low spot to slow, spread and soak up the rain,” said Pamela Berstler, CEO of G3/Green Gardens Group. “Downspouts or roof runoff directed to dry creekbeds or shallow basins, with the addition of mulch and plants, turn your garden into a healthy sponge rather than a brick.”
The revisions support objectives of the mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn to achieve multiple benefits from landscaping, reduce imported water use by 50 percent and to prevent polluted runoff.
For information, visit www.ladwp.com.
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