VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti introduced “the Drop,” a cartoon character to remind Angelenos to save water and take advantage of the city’s rebate program amid the extreme drought that is gripping the state.

Garcetti introduced his outreach campaign to “Save the Drop” during an event at a Van Nuys home as a way to highlight the city’s $3.75 rebate for every square feet of grass turf that is removed.

Half of the city’s water is used on outdoor landscaping, according to city officials.

The campaign is being launched as California is experiencing its fourth year of extreme drought. The city also recently set a goal of reducing water use 20 percent by 2017.

“Because we acted strategically and acted early, we have powerful tools in place to respond to this historic drought,” Garcetti said. “Now, through this unprecedented outreach campaign, we are taking action to make sure every Angeleno is informed and encouraged to harness those tools to lower their water use and their water bills.”

The “Save the Drop” campaign will show up on bus and sanitation truck advertisements, at the library, in utility bills and at parks, as well as movie theater, television and radio placements.

A website at http://www.savethedropla.org also points residents to the $3.75 rebate turf removal rebate and other programs, and offers tips for saving water, such as taking five-minute showers and limiting lawn watering to two days a week.

The campaign is being funded by donations to the Mayor’s Fund, and media campaign company Omelet is providing free services.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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