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Cash for Grass Update

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Marin Water residential and commercial customers with an active potable water service can receive a rebate for reducing the amount of lawn area in their landscapes.  Two rebate tiers are available, a standard rebate of $1.50/SQ FT for qualifying projects, and a best practices rebate of $3.00/SQ FT for projects that follow best practices in sustainable landscaping. Both rebates are subject to a maximum area of 1,000 SQ FT for residential sites and 5,000 SQ FT for commercial sites. 

To Apply

  1. Complete and submit this application form before starting your project.
  2. Marin Water staff will contact you to arrange a pre-inspection site visit, including an indoor and outdoor Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) site survey.
  3. Once your project is approved, complete your project within 180-days.  Visit the WaterSmart Gardening Resource Center for low water use plant lists, design inspiration, and more.
  4. Email or call (415) 945-1527 to arrange a post-inspection site visit.
  5. Sign the completed application form during the post-inspection site visit.
  6. Include a completed IRS Form W-9 if you will receive more than $600 in rebates from Marin Water during the tax year.  Rebates over $600 may be considered taxable income and a 1099 will be issued.  For more information on whether your rebate check will be considered taxable income, please contact a qualified tax professional. 


Cash for Grass Lawn Replacement

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS Standard Rebate Best Practices Rebate
Physical removal of lawn. (e.g. using a sod cutter) X
Sheet mulching the lawn in place instead of physical removal. Layer cardboard, compost, and mulch over the lawn, visit to learn this technique.

Sheet mulching should not be installed within five feet of combustible structures such as buildings and fences. Inorganic materials should be used within these areas.
Use a biodegradable weed barrier such as cardboard.
Planted areas must be covered with a 3-inch layer of mulch. Composted wood chips are recommended.
Overhead irrigation must be removed, capped, or replaced with drip irrigation with pressure regulator and filter.
Plants with different watering needs must be placed on separate irrigation zones to avoid overwatering.
Plants installed must be low water use per the Water Use Classification of Landscape Species (WUCOLS). At least one tree is recommended.
Plants must cover at least 50% of the project area at maturity. Optional
At least 50% of plants must be California native. Optional
Install at least one alternative water source. Alternative water sources include:
- Rain gardens and other stormwater capture features
- Rainwater harvesting barrels and cisterns
- Graywater laundry-to-landscape systems
Permeable hardscape such as decomposed granite, gravel, flagstone or brick set on permeable base and with minimum spacing of 3/8-inch and filled with mortar-less permeable materials (e.g. sand or gravel). Up to 50%
Use of these materials will make the project ineligible for the rebate:
- Artificial turf
- Non-permeable hardscape
- Pools or water features
- Inorganic weed barriers such as plastic sheeting or landscape fabric
- Moderate to high water use plants
- Invasive plants

Applicant Information


Service Address


Mailing Address (if different)

  • Offer applies to Marin Water residential and commercial customers with an active potable water service.
  • Applicant must be the Marin Water account holder and property owner, property owner with consent from the water-bill paying tenant, or water bill-paying tenant with consent from the property owner.
  • Applicant certifies that necessary permissions have been obtained from property owner, if applicant is not the owner.
  • Application for rebate must be submitted before lawn removal or conversion project is commenced.
  • The lawn area must have been actively maintained and irrigated with potable water supplied by Marin Water.  Bare dirt areas or other areas where evidence of recent grass cannot be verified are not eligible.
  • Projects that have been started or projects that have already been completed prior to receiving approval to participate are not eligible. 
  • New construction does not qualify, nor does any project started prior to the pre-inspection.
  • Lawn converted to artificial turf, non-permeable hardscape, pool, or other water feature is not eligible for this rebate program.
  • Applicant agrees to participate in a full indoor and outdoor Conservation Assistance Program (CAP) site survey of the project property prior to any conversion work being performed.
  • Maximum area for the rebate is 1,000 SQ FT for residential sites and 5,000 SQ FT for commercial sites.
  • Project requirements must be met within 180 days of approval.  The applicant may submit a request for extension prior to the original completion date. Extension may be approved at Marin Water’s sole discretion.
  • Rainwater harvesting barrels and cisterns and graywater systems to be installed per the requirements of the California Plumbing Code.
  • Rainwater harvesting barrels and cisterns installed as an alternative water source must have a volume of 200 gallons or greater.
  • Applicant cannot receive both the Cash for Grass rebate and the Rain Barrel and Cistern Rebate if rainwater harvesting is the only alternative water source installed to meet the program requirements.
  • Rebates are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability of funds.
  • Rebate amounts and eligible products are subject to change at any time without prior notice.
  • Rebates will be paid to the name as it appears on the water bill, unless applicant is not the Marin Water account holder. 
  • Rebates over $600 may be considered taxable income and a 1099 will be issued.  For more information on whether your rebate check will be considered taxable income, please contact a qualified tax professional.
  • Marin Water reserves the right to inspect the property in order to verify that the project area has not been replanted with grass or covered with artificial turf or covered with non-permeable hardscape, either before or after rebate is paid.  If access to the site for any subsequent inspection is not granted, or if a site inspection determines the project area has been replanted with grass or other materials not allowed by the Lawn Replacement Rebate Program, the full rebate amount will be due and payable to Marin Water.  By participating in the Program the applicant agrees that the full rebate amount may be charged to the applicants water service account.
  • Residential Applicants understand and acknowledge that Program participation will be noted on the water service address for the property.  In the event the property is sold, Applicant must notify the purchaser of the no-grass landscape requirement associated with that water service address.
  • For commercial sites, the Applicant, or property owner if not Applicant, must execute a “No Grass Conservation Easement” and record this with the Marin County Recorder’s Office to assure long term compliance with the requirements of this Program.  Applicant must provide a conformed copy of the recorded Applicants are responsible for complying with all applicable codes and regulations.  
  • Participant agrees to allow Marin Water to use project photos for outreach and education. 
  • Allow six to eight weeks for processing. 
  • Applicant expressly agrees that Marin Water may inspect all properties participating in this program; that Marin Water does not guarantee the performance of any product receiving a rebate; and that Marin Water does not warrant any product to be free of defects, the quality of workmanship, or the suitability of the premises or products for the installation.
  • Applicant further agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Marin Water, its directors, officers, agents, and employees from and against any and all loss, damage, expense, claims suits, and liability, including attorney fees arising out of or in any way connected with the product(s) and its (their) installation.  Applicant shall indemnify, hold harmless, defend and release Marin Water, its officers, directors, agents, and employees from any and all liability, claims, damages, costs and expenses of lawsuits, which may be asserted by any person or entity, including Applicant, arising out of or in connection with the activities of Applicant, its agents, and employees provided for herein whether or not there is concurrent passive negligence on the part of the District but excluding liability for District’s sole negligence and willful misconduct. 
  • Applicant has read, understands, and agrees to the terms and conditions listed on the rebate application.
  • Applicant understands that lawn replacement is not guaranteed to result in lower water bills.
  • Marin Water reserves the right to change the terms of the Lawn Replacement Rebate Program offer at any time, without notification.