SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

More water guzzling lawns may be replaced by drought tolerant plants throughout Santa Barbara because of the on going drought, and in some cases, homeowners will be getting a cash rebate for making the change.

The incentive program through WaterWiseSB.org offers $1000. for residential rebates and $2000. for commercial businesses that change out their landscaping to save a water.

The city must first do an inspection and discuss the plan, but after that, it's up to the homeowner to decide how much work they want to do.

Michael Curtin received a $1000. from the city this afternoon while standing next to his new drought resistant landscaping at his home.   Four years ago he had a green lawn in the front.  Today he has lavender, jasmine, small palms, and other decorative plants to go with manicured three trees.

"Surprisingly the things that were covered were a very reasonable list. It's irrigation materials, plants, it's irrigation timers things like that," said resident Michael Curtin.

The rebate program also covers mulch. It does not cover new toilets or faucets inside a home, but those are now made to low water use specifications these days.

"This is no longer a lawn and it does not require an excessive amount of water to keep it alive, so with conservation programs it's really long term savings that you see," said Madeline Ward, a Santa Barbara City water conservation specialist.

"So you can keep things that are doing well  that you love,  but there's no reason not to get rid of the water hogs," said Curtin about his decision to keep some of the remaining landscaping and replace the rest.

The city says most of the rebate checks it has issued are in the range of about $700.

For more information go to this site:http://www.waterwisesb.org/