Are you eligible for a landscape rebate?

May 8, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: May 9, 2023, 2:21 pm

Sprinklers water a lawn in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)...

Sprinklers water a lawn in Salt Lake City on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — About half of Utah’s municipal water is poured on lawns and gardens. Not too smart if you are in an historic drought. But what if you could get paid not to soak your landscape?

Utah’s waterwise landscaping incentive program — rip out your lawn and be paid $3/square foot — has been operating for one week.

Dave & Dujanovic check out the program and talk with  Cynthia Bee of the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.

Right now only 35 of Utah’s 329 cities qualify for the program. Kaysville, where Dave resides, does not qualify.

According to Utah WaterSavers, a qualifying project must be within a municipal area or unincorporated county that has implemented water-efficient landscape standards.

The 294 currently disqualified cities such as Provo have not yet adopted the required water-efficient landscape ordinances.

The 35 qualifying cities “are handling the piece that they can, then we’ll step in and will pay to help convert those landscapes that are existing within those cities,” Bee said. “But the reason that that’s a requirement [water-efficient landscape ordinances] is that otherwise, we’re just chasing our tail. In the time it took to get one landscape converted, 10 new yards got approved with full lawns.”

Cash for grass

“Does the city have to pay any portion of that $3 per square foot?” Dave asked.

“They do not,” Bee said, “and I should say that it’s up to $3 a square foot. That’s why we need people to go through the Utah WaterSavers website. . . . It will help calculate what your potential rebate would be based on where you’re at.”

For those who qualify, the rebate is paid on the backend, Bee said.

“You have to submit the information about what the project is, complete the project as per the standards, the tech comes out and reviews it and then the rebate is issued.”

Until Kaysville steps up and qualifies for the waterwise landscaping-incentive program, Dave said he is going to wait to make any water-efficient changes to his property.

Bee said Utahns are converting their lawns and gardens and getting $0 rebate because it’s the best landscape for Utah’s climate and doesn’t require all the water that lawns do to thrive.

“It makes sense to get a handle on the impact that growth is having on water demand. And so this is one of the tools that we’re using to try to help encourage that,” Bee said.

Utahns are signing up to score the landscape rebate

“I’m confused, Cynthia, on what changes these [disqualified] cities have to make. So can you spell it out in really simple gardener terms?” Debbie asked.

“On your single-family residential, that would be no more than 35% lawn in the front yard and side yards on new construction . . . basically we’re stopping the problem from perpetuating into the future,” Bee said, adding existing homes with landscaping and commercial properties can also qualify for rebates. 

Find out if you qualify here

Bee said Utahns are signing up.

“Even though there’s only 35 cities currently qualified, in the first week alone, we’ve had more than 2,800 new users and nearly 1,820 new properties added in a single week.”

The landscape conversion projects can be tough and may take some residents all summer to complete, Bee said.

“We recognize that. It’s a challenge for everyone. That’s why we’ve brought lots of resources to bear — not just money but also expertise, and free online classes. We’re doing everything we can to make a hard project as easy as possible for homeowners.”


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard on weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories


From left to right: Gypsy Flower, Dyers Woad, and Wild Morning Glory, some of the weeds considered ...

Mark Jackson, Amie Schaeffer

Be in the know, Summit County: which weeds have to go?

This year's weed season will be a little different, mostly because the record-breaking snowpack has provided a lot more water to the weeds.

18 hours ago

Record snowpack and increasing temperatures have prompted Sandy City Mayor Monica Zoltanski to issu...

Simone Seikaly

Citing rising rivers, Sandy Mayor issues emergency declaration

Of particular concern is the potential for flooding in Little Cottonwood, portions of Dry Creek, Little Willow, and Big Willow Creeks.

18 hours ago

The National Weather Service still has numerous flood warnings and other advisories in place across...

Adam Small

Some rivers exit flood stage as spring runoff draws closer to an end

More rivers and creeks are exiting flood stage, some for the first time in weeks indicating an end of this year's flood season.

18 hours ago

A citizen snapped a photo of the kneeboarder a week prior to Jackson-Koeven's sighting....


Warning signs posted after kneeboarder seen on swift runoff

Authorities in Murray are warning of the dangers of swift waters after a man was seen kneeboarding in Little Cottonwood Creek.

18 hours ago

Traffic travels along I-80 in Parleys Canyon on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret...

Aimee Cobabe and Becky Bruce

Public comment period approved for quarry in Parley’s Canyon

The public will have 30 days to weigh in, initially, on the creation of a limestone quarry in Parley's Canyon.

2 days ago

State Farm stops home insurance sales in California...

Curt Gresseth

State Farm Insurance pulls out of California because of catastrophes and increasing costs

State Farm Insurance is no longer accepting homeowner insurance applications in California.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Are you eligible for a landscape rebate?