FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, more than 64% of Fresno County is considered to be facing an exceptional drought and 98% of the county is facing extreme drought.

“We perhaps know the purpose of water as much or more than anyone because it is our survival,” said Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer.

That’s why the City of Fresno is trying to get the word out about their lawn-to-garden rebate program, which pays people a dollar per square foot for homeowners to replace grass with water-efficient landscapes.

“We have a consultation; we come out, we do a sketch to give them recommendations, suggestions,” said Fresno Water Conservation Supervisor Wendy Cornelius.

Cornelius gave a house on North Backer Avenue a free consultation in 2018. After redesigning the yard and suggesting where to buy plants and materials, Cornelius says the owner cut their water usage in half.

“The plants that are used are very water-wise. Once they’re established, you can water once a week during the summer,” she said.

Replacement costs are different for each customer based on design and requirements. The rebate goes up to $1,500.

“I can actually break it down for customers, saying, ‘based on my design, based on the plants, if you do all the work yourself, it’ll cost you this amount,'” Cornelius said.

To sign up for this program and free consultation you can visit here.