Lush green lawns, a symbol of the American way of life, are under attack in California, where “cash for grass” programs have sprouted like weeds amid a severe drought. With the western US state struggling to conserve water, locals are re-landscaping their outdoor spaces as attitudes shift about what constitutes an attractive yard. And municipal monetary incentives - reflecting the dire circumstances depleting reservoirs and underground aquifers - are making it that much easier for many to make the switch. Los Angeles, for example, is offering $3 for every square foot of grass that is replaced with more water-efficient options such as drought-tolerant plants, rocks and pebbles. Under the “Cash in Your Lawn” incentive, property owners can get up to $6,000 for making the conversion.
People forget we live in the desert - why do we try to make it the Midwest
Larry Hall, a jazz musician and LA resident
Similar programs have sprung up elsewhere in California as the three-year drought shows no signs of abating and threatens the water supply of the state’s 38 million inhabitants. Two weeks ago, Governor Jerry Brown took emergency measures aimed at the watering of lawns, forbidding residents from doing so more than twice a week.