Grant to fund free lawn replacements in underserved LA communities, will save millions of gallons of water each year
State, City, and LADWP leaders celebrate a $19 million grant from the Department of Water Resources for drought relief programs.
Los Angeles, CA (October 5, 2023) – Mayor Karen Bass and State and local water officials announced in Los Angeles today that the City will receive $19.1 million from the State for climate resilience projects, including one that will pay for free yard transformations in underserved LA communities.
About $14.6 million of the grant from the California Department of Water Resources’ (DWR) Urban Community Drought Relief Grant Program will fund a free lawn replacement program that could save 77 million gallons of water each year. Under the program set to launch in 2024, qualifying Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers with single-family homes in LA’s underserved communities can have their water-thirsty lawns replaced — at no cost to them – with water-efficient landscapes installed by professional landscapers under contract with LADWP. “We will continue to lead Los Angeles to a new era of sustainability that supports frontline communities while making major investments in water efficiency and creating good-paying jobs in the process — and this funding does just that,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “I urge every eligible resident to embrace this opportunity. Together, with shared vision and collective action, we can ensure a resilient, equitable, and sustainable future for all. Let’s rise to the occasion and make Los Angeles a beacon of hope in the face of climate change.”
The grant funding is an example of the State’s recent partnerships with local agencies under the Go Golden Initiative. The Go Golden Initiative recognizes innovative water projects funded by the State that are making California climate resilient. The grant announcement was made at the home of LADWP customers in the Harbor-Gateway community who received a free lawn transformation in 2022 when they offered to host a free LADWP hands-on workshop that taught LADWP customers how to replace their own lawn with California-Friendly landscaping. The customers’ lawn transformation is indicative of the type of turf replacement services that the DWR grant will enable LADWP to offer customers in underserved communities.
Homeowners and LADWP customers welcome State and City officials to their drought-tolerant front lawn
to announce a State grant for a future LADWP turf replacement program.
“Whether it’s getting solar panels on our homes or replacing our lawns with low-water-use landscaping, it will take all of us if we are to achieve our climate change goals; but, doing so is incredibly expensive,” said LA City Councilmember, 15th District, Tim McOsker. “That’s why it’s so important for our government to do what it can, whether it be through funding or education, to help our residents be part of the solution. With everyone doing their part we can protect our planet’s future, our future, and our children’s future.”
LADWP estimates the direct install program could replace up to 1.75 million square feet of lawn over three years, translating into potential water savings of 77 million gallons each year, enough to serve nearly 3,000 LA customers per year.
The remainder of the State’s grant of $4.5 million will go toward the construction of the Dominguez Gap Recycled Water Project in the City of Wilmington. This project is a partnership amongst several agencies, including the LA County Public Works and the Water Replenishment District. The collaboration on this project demonstrates LA’s willingness to partner with local agencies to find creative ways to conserve water and develop new sustainable drinking water supplies for the City.
This pipeline connection, funded by the DWR grant, is expected to supply LADWP with an additional 3.5 million gallons per day of advanced treated recycled water, offsetting the demand for drinking water equivalent to that used by 47,000 customers per year. The Dominguez Gap Recycled Water Project is scheduled for completion by 2025.
“DWR is proud to partner with LADWP to fund and build climate-resilient projects that support the people who need it most,” said DWR Deputy Director Kris Tjernell. “It is more important than ever that State and local agencies work together to improve California’s water future through sensible investments in infrastructure, big and small. Reducing outdoor water use is especially important since urban households typically use at least half of their water outside.”
“This grant partnership is helping to create the transition that we need for a more adaptable Los Angeles,” said President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, Cynthia McClain-Hill. “This is an effort that is joined by local community-based organizations, by our City leadership, and by our Department leadership. We are committed to confronting the challenges before us— be they water or climate adaptability—together.”
Looking forward, LADWP is focused on additional opportunities to invest in resilient, sustainable local water supplies with a portfolio of programs and initiatives to promote groundwater recharge, stormwater capture, additional conservation, and to maximize water recycling/reuse. For more information, visit www.LADWP.com/water.