Method being developed to quantify water-quality benefits of turf replacements

Posted May 7, 2021

SCCWRP and its partners have launched a study with the County of San Diego to develop a method for measuring the water-quality benefits associated with replacing residential turf grass with native, drought-tolerant landscaping.

The study, launched in April, represents a first-of-its-kind effort to quantify the value of turf replacements, which are a type of stormwater BMP (best management practice) designed to reduce use of irrigation water and eliminate irrigation-derived runoff.

Municipalities commonly offer property owners rebates and incentives for turf replacements, even as their effectiveness in achieving runoff water-quality goals has historically not been measured.

The study could be used to help the County develop a crediting scheme for property owners who invest in turf replacements to reduce irrigation-derived runoff, which is a major source of dry-weather runoff contamination. Researchers also hope to develop evidence-based design guidance to help ensure that turf replacements achieve expected levels of performance.


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