Work With Us

Southern California Landscape Optimization Service


  • Southern California



With up to 40-80% of water used outdoors on landscapes and more than 1 billion square feet of decorative grass in Southern California, urban grass areas represent a significant opportunity to reduce water use and irrigation runoff that impairs water quality. New regulations, such as AB1572, prohibit irrigation of decorative or “non-functional” grass areas with drinking water, while water quality agencies are increasingly enforcing illegal discharge requirements. Much of this grass is found on HOA and commercial properties, which historically have not participated in rebate programs due to barriers including lack of expertise, complex decision-making processes, and limited financial resources.

The County of San Diego engaged Environmental Incentives in 2020 to develop the Landscape Optimization Service (LOS), which provides technical assistance to homeowner associations and commercial properties to help them complete large turf replacement projects. The LOS program helps property owners overcome barriers to participation and make upgrades to their landscapes that save water and support community water goals. The program also “stacks incentives,” combining funds from San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to provide additional financial support.

The County of Orange has completed a first prototype phase with Environmental Incentives’ support, initiating two projects that could collectively remove 60,000 square feet of grass and treat several acres of impervious surface area.

The EI team in partnership with Monarch Environmental currently support the County of San Diego and County of Orange to: 

  • Design program policy based on user needs and partner objectives.
  • Provide technical assistance to commercial property owners to: 
    • Identify, design, and construct turf replacement projects.
    • Apply for rebates and troubleshoot issues
    • Engage stakeholders in decision-making.
    • Oversee and ensure high-quality construction
    • Provide contractor education and maintenance support
  • Adapt policies based on user feedback to maximize cost-effectiveness.
  • Engage water supply partners to facilitate collaboration and streamline program delivery.
  • Develop monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems to adaptively manage program performance.

As of September 2023, the County of San Diego program has completed 14 verified projects and removed nearly 400,000 square feet of grass. These projects will help save hundreds of acre feet of water, reduce irrigation runoff, and reduce water costs for participants and their broader communities. These projects also produce additional benefits for climate, including greenhouse gas emission reductions from reduced water use, and improved air quality and ecosystem health from trees and native plants added to new landscapes.

For more information, visit the Waterscape Rebate Landscape Optimization Services Program Page.

Additional Projects

Nkuringo, Uganda

USAID Measuring Impact

Learn More

Monarch Butterfly Habitat Exchange

Learn More
Colorado Delta Conservation Arenitas Paisaje

Colorado Delta Conservation Funding Framework

Learn More
Sage Grouse Birds

Nevada Conservation Credit System

Learn More
Lake Tahoe

Lake Clarity Crediting Program For Lake Tahoe

Learn More
01 05