The Southern Nevada Water Authority is pumping more green into one of its signature conservation efforts. The authority will now pay residents and business owners $3 for every square foot of thirsty grass they rip out and replace with desert landscaping.
The $1 increase, approved by authority board members Thursday, represents the first significant change to the agency’s Water Smart Landscapes Program in three years. Agency officials hope raising the rebate will spur more participation in the 19-year-old program, which has seen a steady decline in turf conversions over the past decade.
“We’re really coming at this as a need to reinvigorate the whole (conservation) program,” said authority general manager John Entsminger, who noted a recent uptick in per capita water use. The problem isn’t that the valley is running out of grass to replace, said Colby Pellegrino, director of water resources for the authority. She said there could be as much as 200 million square-feet of purely ornamental turf still out there, not including the stuff that actually gets used at parks and schools and people’s […]