Sacramento, local landscapers encourage switch to water-wise lawns

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Many local landscapers are working with the city of Sacramento to help more people save water ahead of this year’s dry season.

The heat wave in Sacramento is forcing the city’s Department of Utilities to change rules that have been in place since the drought of 2014.

“It’s always important to save water,” said Department of Utilities Media Specialist Carlos Eliason. “There’s a two-day per week watering schedule and because we’ve had and will be having three days of 100-degree temperatures or more, you can water your landscapes as much as you want.”

What hasn’t changed is the rebate program for those who turn their yards into drought-tolerant landscapes using plants that don’t require much water, as well as grass alternatives.

It’s a program Eliason said more people are taking advantage of.

“People can receive up to $3,000 with our grass conversion rebate program and that’s about $1.50 per square foot,” Eliason explained. “If you want to replace facets or fixtures in your yard, you can get a couple hundred dollars for each one of those.”

“Now that we’re in dry conditions again, interest is going back up, the average-sized lawn uses about 50,000 gallons of water per year,” he continued. “Switching to a drought-tolerant landscape uses about a third of that. It’s a pretty big savings in terms of water.”

One local landscaping company owner told FOX40 it would be a difficult task to transform hundreds of yards across Sacramento into water-wise landscapes, but considering how hot it’s expected to be this summer, it could be a necessary one.

Soleil Tranquilli of Tranquil Gardens is one of several landscapers who work with the city and specialize in water-wise conversions. She said the biggest mistake when it comes to lawn care is simple.

“Ninety percent of what I see out there when I go on consultations, people are overwatering,” Tranquilli said.

Tranquilli said once those changes are made the outcomes are seen right away.

“That’s a feel-good moment if you look at your water bill and you’re doing the right thing,” she explained. “What I get reports of too is how many more pollinators people see in these landscapes, even in the first few weeks. And they just report back to me, ‘Wow, I didn’t know what I was missing.'”

The Department of Utilities welcomes the public to stop by their headquarters off of 35th Avenue to see their water-wise flower beds and get an idea of what their yards can look like.

More information about the city’s rebate program can be found here.

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