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Turf Replacement Rebate Pays Out For Rancho Santa Fe Residents

Turf Replacement Rebate Pays Out For Rancho Santa Fe Residents

GUESTS:

Bill McDonnell, water use efficiency manager, Metropolitan Water District

Gordon Hess, Independent Rates Oversight Committee for the City of San Diego Public Utilities

Dennis Cushman, assistant general manager, San Diego County Water Authority

Transcript

Drought conservation efforts by the Metropolitan Water District have come to a halt - at least when it comes to their turf replacement rebate program.

The Metropolitan Water District program for homeowners and commercial properties across Southern California ran out of money in July. It gave $288,000, including grants as large as $70,000, to homeowners in Rancho Santa Fe, according to data obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

There was no cap on the amount of money one homeowner could receive because in previous years, there wasn't much interest in the turf rebate program, Bill McDonnell, a water use efficiency manager with Metropolitan Water District, told KPBS Midday Edition.

"Basically we were trying to get some momentum and trying to get people to sign up and get the ball rolling down the hill, so we didn't want to restrict it right out of the gate," he said.

There is now a cap of $6,000 for residential property owners, McDonnell said.

The program ran out of money in July. McDonnell said new customers likely won't be able to get rebates until next year "if at all."

Gordon Hess of the City of San Diego Public Utilities Independent Rates Oversight Committee said 25 percent of the Metropolitan Water District's turf rebate program funds comes from San Diego residents' water bills. He said there isn't enough oversight to be sure the money is being spent properly.

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