With drought conditions on the horizon, homeowners and municipalities should consider transforming property swathed in bright green grass into landscapes better suited for native pollinators and the dry California heat.

The volume of water that Zone 7 might purchase from Mojave Water Agency (MWA) will help to offset the need to make conservation mandatory — for now — but these drought conditions are nothing new. We’ve been here before, and it’s time to adjust permanently. Large lawns that guzzle up water and offer little in the way of sustenance for important pollinators are obsolete.

The cities of Livermore, Pleasanton and Dublin often work with local agencies like Zone 7 or Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) to offer rebate programs for residents. As the economy begins to reopen, many people are not in the position to fund large home projects. Paying to keep thirsty properties green is considerably cheaper than relandscaping, but that choice will have a ripple effect on our water supply.

Ahead of anticipated drought conditions, we hope to see the municipalities add lawn rebate information to their social media campaigns to promote more awareness. We also hope they heed their own guidance and convert city-owned properties that are needlessly covered in sod. If the area isn’t used for sporting events, grass isn’t necessary. Even then, fake turf might be worth the investment in the end.

Livermore residents can find more information on replacing their lawns by visiting bit.ly/Indy_LivermoreRebate. For Pleasanton, visit bit.ly/Indy_PleasantonRebate. For Dublin, bit.ly/Indy_DublinRebate.