As directed by House Bill 22-1151, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) is in the process of developing a statewide Turf Replacement Program to incentivize the voluntary replacement of nonessential irrigated turf on residential, commercial, institutional or industrial properties in Colorado with less water-intensive, more water-wise landscape. More information on this program, including guidelines and details on the application process, will become available in Spring 2023. Below is a list of frequently asked questions about this new legislation and pending program, updated as of June 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can individual homeowners apply to the state for funding to replace their home's turf?
No. Homeowners and individuals living in a jurisdiction that has an existing turf replacement program who are interested in participating in a program should contact their local government or water provider. Additionally, state funding is expected to be routed through one or more third party contractors who will develop turf replacement programs for homeowners and other property owners in areas of the State that do not have local programs. See eligibility requirements below.
- When will funding be available?
- The program and associated funding is anticipated to be available after July 1, 2023 once the program is created.
- Who is developing this program?
- CWCB is primarily responsible for developing this program. The agency is also directed to hire a contractor through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to assist with administering the program as needed. More information on that RFP will be posted on this webpage once it becomes available.
- Who is eligible to apply for funding from CWCB?
Local governments, special districts (including water districts, metropolitan districts, water conservancy/conservation districts), nonprofit organizations, and Tribal Nations.
The grant review process will be competitive and driven by best practice criteria. Communities that have existing turf restrictions for new development and other best practice landscape standards will be more competitive in the grant funding process. Applicants may contact CWCB prior to this program’s launch for guidance on implementing such measures in their communities.
NOTE: Homeowners and individuals interested in participating should contact their local government or water provider.
- How can the funds be used?
At this time, a one-time total of $2 million will be transferred from the state General Fund to CWCB to administer this program starting in July 2023. Funds may be used for replacement of nonessential irrigated turf on residential, commercial, institutional or industrial properties in Colorado. All eligible applicants must provide 50% of the funding for the costs to develop and implement a local program, and must begin implementation within 12 months of receiving matching grant funding from CWCB.
Additional funding mechanisms will be defined as the program is developed.
- Are there other funding options available for turf replacement right now?
Yes. Through CWCB, turf replacement funding can be acquired today by eligible entities through the Colorado Water Plan Grant Program. There are also many local turf replacement programs offered at this time through local governments and municipalities.
- Why is turf replacement important?
Outdoor watering of turf uses significant amounts of water. Removing nonfunctional turf and replacing it with low-water landscaping is critical to advancing state water conservation and water efficiency efforts.
Native and natural landscaping that uses less water helps build drought resilience in Colorado and throughout the southwestern U.S. As the state continues to see prolonged drought, increased aridity, and population growth, this program will help normalize low maintenance, less water-intensive landscapes and parks. Turf replacement is also a component of supporting and enhancing vibrant communities and resilient planning - core focus areas of the Colorado Water Plan.
Ultimately, this program, while just a one-time funding transfer, has the potential as a pilot to show how larger scale turf replacement efforts can be a successful pillar of community water efficiency and drought resilience.
- How can Coloradans get involved in the development of the Turf Replacement Program?
Please direct any concerns, questions, and feedback regarding the pending program to local governments and water providers.