Ditch the Grass: City of Scottsdale offers homeowner incentives for desert-friendly yards

Scottsdale, Mesa, and Chandler are just some East Valley cities paying up for homeowners to take out grass for a more eco-friendly solution.
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:49 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 1, 2022 at 8:57 AM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Ditch the grass. The City of Scottsdale is pushing residents to do it as Arizona faces historic drought conditions.

City officials are pushing homeowners to get rid of the grass to lower their water footprint and turn their outdoor spaces into something more desert-friendly. Of course, you don’t have to get rid of all your grass, especially if you have it for your kids or pets. Instead, the city says just get rid of as much as possible. Scottsdale’s rebate program gives residents $2 in credit on their water bill for every square foot of grass removed. It caps at $5,000.

It’s been a plan that started in August of last year as Scottsdale is under stage one of its drought management plan. With the water levels continuing to drop in the reservoirs and the Colorado River, they are looking to reduce water usage for the long term. So while they acknowledge redoing your landscaping isn’t cheap, they hope residents see long-term benefits.

“Turf can be a bigger water user in your house if you are a single family resident. What we are finding for the single-family resident population is their total water usage can be anywhere between 60 and 70 percent outside,” said Gretchen Baumgardner, the city’s Water Policy Manager. “So by converting a portion of their turf you can drastically divide that.”

An application is on the city’s website. The deadline is Mar. 31, 2023. They also aren’t the only city offering this type of incentive. Other East Valley cities like Mesa and Chandler also offer similar programs.

To learn more about Scottsdale’s program, click/tap here.