Southern California – As part of the Department of Water Resources’ Urban Community Drought Relief Grant Program, the Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) and three partner agencies, Calleguas Municipal Water District, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (LVMWD/District), and Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Upper District), have been awarded grant funding to provide a new water-use efficiency program for select properties in more than 60 communities across the Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. The Turnkey Turf Transformation Project was competitively selected for an award of $8,474,500 based on its ability to deliver long-lasting water savings within three years or less.

“IEUA is excited to partner with our peer water agencies to provide participating properties with essentially a free landscape makeover,” stated IEUA General Manager Shivaji Deshmukh. “We will all benefit from the subsequent water savings while beautifying our communities and are greatly appreciative to have been awarded such critical funding through the California Department of Water Resources.”

While water customers throughout Southern California have long had access to a diverse offering of water-use efficiency incentive programs, including rebates for turf conversion[1], there is still work to be done. The Turnkey Turf Transformation Project is designed to rapidly reduce water demands by complying with the State’s Non-Functional Turf Ban by removing large portions of non-functional turf on commercial, industrial, and institutional properties within disadvantaged communities. Helping selected public properties reduce their water use through turf conversion will  enhance local water supply reliability and support future regional growth.

“We are very pleased to receive the support of the Department of Water Resources through the award of this grant,” stated Tom Love, General Manager for Upper San Gabriel Valley MWD. “At Upper District, we continually strive to find innovative solutions to help our cities and retailers meet their conservation goals. This grant will allow us to continue conservation programs that help save water today for future dry years.”

“LVMWD is grateful to receive this grant funding from the Department of Water Resources,” commented LVMWD General Manager David Pedersen. “Through this collaborative effort with IEUA, the District will be able to offer further tangible support for customers looking to become more water-wise where it counts the most. The potential is ripe for increased water-use efficiency in our landscapes, and this project will assist our customers with realizing that potential while minimizing financial impact.”

“Calleguas is pleased to partner with IEUA, Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, and Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District on this important program to build resiliency in our local communities by assisting with the conversion of non-functional turf to climate-appropriate landscaping,” stated Calleguas General Manager Anthony Goff. “This program is a perfect complement to our Landscape is Change Campaign, to inspire a change in the way we use and value our water today to ensure our communities and future generations will continue to thrive in the future.”

Selected sites will receive a landscape evaluation that identifies opportunities to reduce water usage and provides efficient irrigation and plant material recommendations. Following the evaluation, a utility-hired landscape contractor will remove non-functional turf and replace plants and irrigation systems, thus directly reducing water usage and the installation burden on the site owner.

“We thank the Department of Water Resources for their support and look forward to this partnership that will continue to enhance the quality of life across Southern California by ensuring a sustainable water supply for our communities,” continued IEUA General Manager Deshmukh.

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