Saving Water and Money Drive MWD’s New Landscape Transformation Program

By on July 11, 2018

Saving water and money go hand-in-hand with a new conservation program launched Monday by the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California.

As temperatures edge upwards of 100 degrees even in Los Angeles and nearby cities, MWD rolled out its new Landscape Transformation Program, whereby residents and businesses can receive $1 for every square foot of grass they replace with more water efficient native plants and irrigation systems. The start of the Landscape Transformation Program coincides with the kick off of Metropolitan’s multi-million dollar “365” advertising and outreach campaign.

“Southern Californians have learned the value of saving water,” said Jeffrey Kightlinger, MWD’s general manager. “They understand water is a limited resource, especially after the recent drought. But sometimes we all need a little nudge and a little extra incentive to keep using water as efficiently as possible. Our programs and campaign offer that incentive.”

The “365” campaign encourages Southern Californians to conserve water every day. It reminds them to take advantage of Metropolitan’s rebate programs including cash back for water-saving washing machines, toilets, sprinkler nozzles, smart irrigation systems and other devices and appliances, in addition to the Landscape Transformation Program.

In 2014-2015, MWD initiated its turf removal program spurred by California’s worst drought in decades. Residents and businesses replaced 160 million square feet of grass during Metropolitan’s H2Love conservation campaign. That program, the largest anywhere in the country, was a short-term urgent drought response. Metropolitan’s new Landscape Transformation Program will be ongoing, with up to $50 million in applications accepted a year. Additionally, some Metropolitan member agencies may provide additional incentives on top of the $1 a square foot.

“Since the turf rebate program ended three years ago, residents have been asking for its return,” said Bill McDonnell, MWD’s’s water use efficiency manager. “We used lessons learned from the earlier program in developing the new Landscape Transformation Program. We’ve incorporated new requirements to drive a sustainable approach, encouraging our long-term commitment to help Southern Californians use less water.”

Metropolitan’s new 365 campaign and its tagline, “Every day is a chance to save water. And money,” will be highly visible in the Los Angeles basin. The advertising and outreach campaign will be seen in television commercials —https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YglAjcXfOZY&feature=youtu.be — to online and social media ads as well as billboards. The campaign will even include small posters in local convenience stores and on lunch trucks. The campaign acknowledges the diversity of the region and campaign elements will be multilingual and translated into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Tagalog. The campaign has found new ways to reach diverse audiences, including using on-air personalities on Spanish-language channels, a Chinese-language game show and special events, such as Viva Los Dodgers at https://www.mlb.com/dodgers/tickets/events/viva-los-dodgers.

The new Landscape Transformation Program not only encourages viewers to conserve, it tells them how to get financial help doing so with rebates. The program’s mobile-friendly site offers tips, educational materials, how-to videos and classes on how to be more water efficient. Details on Metropolitan’s conservation program can be found at: http://www.bewaterwise.com/ad-campaign.html.