Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2019

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Water authority ups bounty for removing grass

Conservation Pricing

Leila Navidi

In this 2008 file photo, Heber Jovany Peralta, left, and Cesar Peralta of Acacia Landscape haul gravel into a Las Vegas back yard where they’d removed all the grass.

Landscaper Dane Keiser is bracing for a surge in business after the Southern Nevada Water Authority upped its bounty for removing grass to conserve water.

Instead of paying $2 per square foot of grass exchanged for landscaping that doesn’t need water, the authority in June began offering $3. The money helps offset the cost of installing desert landscaping, which can cost $6 to $8 a square foot.

“When the public knows more about it, I think they’ll be all over it,” said Keiser, who co-owns and operates a Las Vegas Valley landscaping business. “It’s good money, but most homeowners don’t really know.”

Grass removal is the easiest and most cost-effective way to cut water usage, authority spokesman Bronson Mack said.

The authority will pay $3 per square foot for up to 10,000 square feet of grass removed and $1.50 a square foot after that, up to a maximum rebate of $300,000.

The program, which began in 1999, has assisted residents in converting 185 million square feet of grass to water-efficient landscaping, the water authority reports. It says that has saved the community billions of gallons of water.