Customers planted drought-tolerant landscapes in their front yards (Google / Press-Telegram)

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Incentives for drought resistant front yards called a success


By Pamela Hale-Burns, Staff Writer


LONG BEACH – The Long Beach Water Department presented its 100th Lawn-to-Garden resident Wednesday.

In April, the Beautiful Long Beach Lawn-to-Garden Incentive Program allowed pre-approved water customers to apply for $2.50-per-square-foot rebates, with a set maximum of 1,000 square feet allowed per customer.

Customers then planted drought-tolerant landscapes in their front yards, which, over time, will help conserve water.

“This program, the City’s Beautiful Long Beach Lawn-to-Garden Incentive Program, is a program that’s designed to encourage and reward Long Beach residents and businesses for using less water outside their homes and businesses,” said 2nd District Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal, who is also the City’s representative on the Metropolitan Water District Board.

Lowenthal and other officials were touting the success of the incentives at the home of Alan Phair, in the 2100 block of East Sixth Street; Phair used the program to help transform his front lawn with drought-resistant plants over the course of three months.

Although the city had budgeted for 100 residents, there were over 400 applicants, said Kevin Wattier, general manager of the Long Beach Water Department.

“Congratulations to the City of Long Beach for their leadership on water conservation,” said Mark Gold, president of Heal the Bay. “You don’t see too often a city take this degree of leadership.”


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Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.