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State and Local Leaders Spotlight Water-Wise Lawn Transformation Ahead of Anticipated Fourth Dry Year

California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot highlights the role businesses and communities play across the state in making conservation a way of life for Californians.

Published: 20 October 2022

Folsom, Calif.As California prepares for another anticipated drought year, state and local leaders gathered today at a small business in the heart of Folsom to spotlight their drought-resilient landscape, made possible by a rebate offered from the Regional Water Authority (RWA). The rebate is an example of how local water agencies are working to help California businesses and residents reduce their water use and embrace water-saving opportunities like transitioning to low-water landscaping. 


California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot highlighted the key role businesses across the region and state play in helping build a more water-resilient future for all Californians.


“Don’t let the cooler weather fool you, the drought is as bad as ever,” said Secretary Crowfoot. “We need Californians to continue to step up conserving water, which helps stretch our water supplies while new projects come online that help us adjust to this hotter, drier climate.” 


State Water Resources Control Board Member Nichole Morgan joined Secretary Crowfoot in touting businesses that have taken advantage of landscape rebates and made saving water a top priority in their communities.


“Californians are making tangible progress toward our voluntary conservation goals, thanks in part to efforts like upgrading lawns to water wise yards,” said Morgan. “Shifting the way we beautify our landscapes is vital to dealing with drought and adapting to the longer-term impacts of climate change. At the same time, it’s so important that we continue to care for our trees, because healthy trees contribute to a healthy environment.”


Mayor Kerri Howell of Folsom acknowledged how businesses that invest in water-wise landscaping are also investing in beautifying their communities.


“Republix Insurance is providing a great model for other businesses to take action and make a long-term investment in water efficiency,” Howell said. “The bonus is that they are also helping to create a beautiful Folsom and inspiring others to do the same.”


The Regional Water Authority’s Executive Director Jim Peifer underscored the collaboration among state and local agencies to encourage conservation during drought and create water systems that are ready to handle the weather extremes projected with climate change. 


“Each of us has a role to play in reducing water use, and this goes hand-in-hand with larger adaptation strategies like the Sacramento Regional Water Bank,” Peifer said. “Working in partnership, we can create a 21st-century water system that is resilient to climate change here in the Sacramento region and in California.”


The Regional Water Authority’s innovative rebate program incentivized businesses within five miles of the Lower American River to upgrade their landscapes with more efficient irrigation and drought-tolerant plants. The program aimed to help reduce water use while protecting the river’s water quality by preventing overwatering and runoff that carries fertilizers and pesticides through storm drains directly to nearby waterways. More information about available rebates is available here.  


To further drive the transformation from grass to drought-tolerant landscapes, the state is allocating $75 million to bolster the Save Our Water campaign, providing Californians with actionable tools and resources to conserve water. Governor Gavin Newsom also recently signed legislation to ensure more dollars can go toward helping residents transform lawns into water wise yards to save water.


Fall is the ideal time to consider replacing lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping when weather conditions are optimal for new growth. Save Our Water encourages residents to check with their local water agency to learn more about rebates and other resources to help make the change. For more water saving tips and information, visit




California Natural Resources Agency

Lisa Lien-Mager

(916) 407-6279


Regional Water Authority

Jim Peifer, Executive Director

(916) 847-7589


State Water Resources Control Board

Jackie Carpenter

(916) 508-9563


Save Our Water

Hayley Carbullido

(916) 833-6076