Editorial: Landscape rebate plan a fine idea

Like it or not, we live in a state where water is a scarce — and increasingly expensive — commodity. Water conservation should be part of our daily life, not something we desperately turn to every time there’s a drought.

For that reason, we enthusiastically endorse landscape rebate programs like the one recently adopted in Grover Beach, which offers cash to residents who rip out their lawns and replace them with drought tolerant plants.

Such steps will lead to long-term reductions in water use, which is far more effective than trying to change behavior by encouraging water conservation every time a drought rolls around.

We should note that Grover Beach isn’t the only Central Coast agency to offer landscaping rebates. The Atascadero Mutual Water Co., for example, offers rebates not only for replacing lawn with drought-tolerant plants but also for installing water-saving irrigation systems. Other agencies are considering similar offers.

Good for them.

The same idea has proven successful with indoor appliances, such as water-conserving washing machines. It’s logical to extend the rebate concept to the outdoors, especially since more than 50 percent of water supplied to residential customers has traditionally gone to landscaping.

We strongly urge consumers to seek out and take advantage of rebate programs. You can find out what’s available by logging on to your water purveyor’s Web site and clicking on conservation. If your purveyor doesn’t offer a program, well, it might be time to ask why not.