US

California cash-for-grass program so popular amid drought that it may be expanded

FILE- In this April 2, 2015 file photo, Denise Hurst shows her drought-tolerant garden she planted with the help of a city program that offers rebates of $3.50 per square foot for residents who tear up their water-guzzling lawns and plant drought-resistant plants that require little to no watering in Long Beach, Calif. A cash-for-grass program is proving so popular during California's drought that a water wholesaler is considering boosting the budget for turf replacement rebates. Board members of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will meet Tuesday, May 26, 2015, to discuss adding $350 million to its lawn rebate program. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

FILE- In this April 2, 2015 file photo, Denise Hurst shows her drought-tolerant garden she planted with the help of a city program that offers rebates of $3.50 per square foot for residents who tear up their water-guzzling lawns and plant drought-resistant plants that require little to no watering in Long Beach, Calif. A cash-for-grass program is proving so popular during California's drought that a water wholesaler is considering boosting the budget for turf replacement rebates. Board members of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will meet Tuesday, May 26, 2015, to discuss adding $350 million to its lawn rebate program. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)  (The Associated Press)

A cash-for-grass program is proving so popular during California's drought that a water wholesaler is considering boosting the budget for turf replacement rebates.

Board members of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California will meet Tuesday to discuss adding $350 million to its lawn rebate program. The program's current budget is $100 million.

Residents and businesses have rushed to request the rebates since April when Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory cuts in urban water usage.

Under the program, the agency pays homeowners and businesses $2 per square foot to replace grass with drought-friendly landscaping.