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California Is Making It Cheaper to Replace Your Lawn to Save Water and Save Money

Governor Newsom signs legislation exempting turf replacement rebates from state income taxGovernor releases latest “On the Record” column on saving water and building a more resilient future 

SACRAMENTO – Conserving water has become a way of life in California, and one of the most effective ways to cut back on water use is to replace your lawn with drought-resistant plants and landscaping. Now Californians can get more money to do just that thanks to a new law signed today by Governor Gavin Newsom. The legislation exempts local rebates for turf replacement from state income tax, ensuring more dollars can be spent on transforming grass lawns into water-wise yards.

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“Our hots are getting hotter and our dries are getting drier. Our state is on track to lose 10% of its water supply by 2040 which is why we must all do our part to conserve water,” said Governor Newsom. “With a drier landscape becoming the norm, we’re stepping up to help Californians replace their lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping that will help us combat the drought we’re in and build resilience for the future. Conservation is just one part of our strategy – that’s why we’re finding ways to stretch the water supply we have, create new sources of water and increase storage. It will take all of us working together to weather this drought and save our water.”

“As California confronts drought, extreme heat, and worsening climate change, it is critical that we deepen our investment in water conservation strategies,” said Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D -Encino), author of AB 2142, the legislation that exempts turf replacement rebates from state income tax. “This new law will strengthen consumer rebates and help ensure that Californians who switch to drought-tolerant landscaping are able to save water and save money. I applaud Governor Newsom for his leadership on climate resiliency and thank him for signing this bill today.”

Also Wednesday, the Governor signed several other measures to combat the severe drought and encourage water efficiency. The legislative action comes as California continues to experience historic drought. Governor Newsom and his Administration have convened local water leaders multiple times this year, urging additional measures to support water conservation.

In June, a statewide prohibition on watering non-functional turf in commercial and industrial settings took effect. Last month, the Administration adopted the California Water Supply Strategy, which sets a goal in partnership with local agencies to convert 500 million square feet of ornamental turf by 2030, with corresponding investments in programs and policies that incentivize turf conversion. The Governor today also released his latest “On the Record” column highlighting the state’s comprehensive water resilience plan and bold investments to cut water use, build storage capacity and increase supply as we continue adapting to a hotter, drier future driven by climate change. As the state prepares for the possibility of a fourth dry year, it’s more important than ever that all Californians adopt water conservation as a way of life. More information on simple water-saving tips can be found in the column, which has been translated into multiple languages for use by ethnic media outlets.Over the last three years, the Governor and the Legislature have earmarked more than $8.8 billion to modernize water infrastructure and respond to the drought. This year’s state budget includes $3.6 billion over multiple years to support drought resilience and response. This builds on the historic three-year, $5.2 billion investment in California water systems enacted in the 2021-22 budget. This includes $75 million to bolster the Save Our Water campaign, providing Californians with actionable information to conserve water, including transforming their lawns to be more water-wise. Tips on conserving water can be found at SaveOurWater.comA full list of water and drought-related bills the Governor announced signing today can be found below:

  • AB 2142 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) – Income taxes: exclusion: turf replacement water conservation program.
  • AB 2895 by Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) – Water: permits and licenses: temporary changes: water or water rights transfers.
  • SB 489 by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) – Flood management projects: state funding: Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project.
  • SB 230 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) – State Water Resources Control Board: Constituents of Emerging Concern in Drinking Water Program.
  • SB 891 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Business licenses: stormwater discharge compliance.
  • SB 1157 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Urban water use objectives. A signing message can be found here. 
  • SB 1188 by Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) – Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: financial assistance.
  • SB 1254 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Drinking water: administrator: managerial and other services.
  • SB 1372 by Senator Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles) – Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: groundwater sustainability plans: groundwater rights.

The Governor previously signed the following bills:

  • AB 2108 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) – Water policy: environmental justice: disadvantaged and tribal communities.
  • AB 2877 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) – Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund: tribes.
  • SB 1205 by Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) – Water rights: appropriation.

For full text of the bills, visit: