City hopes to save water with ‘Lawn Buster’ program

San Jose residents who are eligible can pay $500 to have their lawns re-landscaped to conserve water. Photo: connectourfuture.orgSan Jose residents who are eligible can pay $500 to have their lawns re-landscaped to conserve water. Photo:

As the California drought continues, the city of San Jose has implemented another water-conserving incentive for residents.

The program, known as “Lawn Busters,” allows eligible citizens to have their lawns re-landscaped at the reduced price of $500. This cost includes all landscaping material, drought-resistant plants, irrigation conversion and labor.

With eight miles of the Guadalupe River dried up, San Jose citizens are painfully aware of the lack of water. According to the Lawn Busters website, lawns use the most water in residential areas, so converting them to drought-tolerant landscapes provides the greatest potential savings.

“We’re in a serious drought, which pushes us to rethink how we use water,” said Kerrie Romanow, director of San Jose’s Environmental Services department, in a statement. “Innovative programs like Lawn Busters can show our residents how to decrease their water use and ultimately save money on their water bills.”

Those who qualify must have a lawn that is 500-1,500 square feet and an in-ground irrigation system with sprinkler heads and controller in working condition. The program is available only to owner-occupied, single-family homes.

The city of San Jose has teamed up with the San Jose Municipal Water System, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and nonprofit organization Our City Forest to make the initiative possible.

Money has been set aside so that six yards can be done for low-income applicants. The Lawn Busters program will not convert backyards.

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