Do I hear three dollars?

Click on the checklist to be taken to the Long Beach lawn-to-garden program website

Las Vegas topped the regional cash-for-grass payout rate with $2 per square foot (now down to $1.50) until the City of Long Beach today announced that it will be offering $2.50 per square foot up to $2,500 for qualifying homeowners.

The calculus behind this sort of bribery is that it is cheaper for a Western water authority to pay homeowners to remove turf and replace it with a drought tolerant garden rather than for the city to vie with competitors for ever more water from an ever shrinking common pool.

Beyond the decision to increase the bounty on turf, what sets Long Beach’s program apart from, say, the cash-for-grass scheme launched by the City of Los Angeles last June is an enviable combination of conviction and competence.

While the City of Los Angeles sat on its