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drought tolerant succulents in landscape design

Go low (water,  that is) and get rewarded. As of last week, ongoing drought in this country is affecting over 54% of the land in the lower 48—quite literally the “Western” half of the United States. Also last week came the announcement of the strictest residential water conservation rules ever imposed in the state of California, which restricts homeowners from watering their lawns more than once per week. Some cities like Las Vegas are even permanently banning the use of “non-functional” grass in landscaping due to the water it takes to maintain.

While these restrictions may cause some homeowners to completely rethink or redesign their landscape, municipalities are offering some help in the transition with water-smart programs and landscaping rebates for things like swapping in water-saving equipment and replacing your lawn with drought-tolerant plants or turf.

Check program guidelines before you jump in: some require a site inspection before you buy anything or make changes, and you must be a resident and a utility customer to qualify for these rebates. Also, some homeowners may be able to double dip—your city, county, or parent water authority may all provide separate programs that you qualify for. This list was compiled based on where many of our clients live and is not by any means exhaustive—if your municipality is not listed here, check with your local utility to see what programs are available to you.

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Arizona Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Tempe, AZ

Water Conservation Rebates for single family residences include:

  • Landscape Conversion (Turf Replacement) Rebate – Receive .25 cents per square foot of landscape converted from grass to desert landscape.

  • TreeBate – Receive a rebate of 100 percent, up to $75, for the purchase price of desert plants. Qualifying plants include trees, shrubs, cacti, succulents and groundcover.

  • High-Efficiency Irrigation Rebate – Upgrade an existing irrigation system with high efficiency spray nozzles, rain sensors and/or smart controllers and receive up to $500.

  • Gray Water Recycling Systems Rebate – Receive a rebate of 50 percent, up to $200 per household, for the purchase of gray water system components.

Tuscon, AZ

Residential Water Conservation Rebates include:

  • Rainwater Harvesting Rebate – Applicants may apply for both incentive levels below (passive and active), not exceeding $2,000 for the combination per property.

  • Rainwater Harvesting Grant (Low-Income Program) – For families with an income equal to or less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will received a grant of up to $750.

  • Gray Water Rebate – Tucson Water will reimburse 50% of qualifying costs, up to $1,000, when a permanent gray water irrigation system is installed at your home after January 1, 2013.

Chandler, AZ

Water Conservation Rebates include:

Glendale, AZ

Residential landscape rebates include:

  • Existing Home Conversions – Receive as much as $750 for converting grass to low-water-use landscape.

  • Landscape Rebate for New Homes – Receive a $200 landscape rebate for new homes. Install a low-water-use xeriscape landscape and receive a $200 rebate from the City of Glendale Water Conservation Rebate Program.

California Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Chino Hills, CA

Residential water rebates include:

  • Turf Removal Rebate – rebate of up to $3 per square foot for removing turf on your property

Contra Costa County, CA

Water conservation rebates and programs include:

Cucamonga Valley Water District

This water district serves Rancho Cucamonga, portions of Fontana, Ontario, Upland and some unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. Residential rebates and programs include:

East Bay Municipal Utility District

EBMUD’s water system serves approximately 1.4 million people in a 332-square-mile area extending from Crockett on the north, southward to San Lorenzo (encompassing the major cities of Oakland and Berkeley), eastward from San Francisco to Walnut Creek, and south through the San Ramon Valley.

Residential programs and rebates include:

  • Lawn Conversion – Rebates are calculated based on square feet of lawn converted and is up to $1.50/sq. Ft. with maximum rebate amount of $2000 for a 2 year period

  • Flowmeter Rebate – EBMUD offers a rebate of up to 50% of the price of the flowmeter (excluding taxes and installation). If applicable, up to two years of prepaid service may be included in calculating the rebate amount. The maximum rebate is $200 per device.

  • Mulch and Compost Coupons – EBMUD and Contra Costa Water District have partnered with local nurseries, garden centers, and soil companies to offer discounts on organic mulch and compost.

  • Efficient Irrigation Upgrades – The maximum rebate is $2,000 for residential

  • Graywater Rebate – up to $50 for a graywater system 3-way diverter valve that redirects water from your clothes washer to your landscape.

Eastern Municipal Water District

This water district serves western Riverside County: Canyon Lake, Hemet, Menifee, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Perris, San Jacinto, Temecula, and unincorporated communities of French Valley, Good Hope, Homeland, Lakeview, Mead Valley, Murrieta Hot Springs, Nuevo, Romoland, Valle Vista and Winchester. Residential programs and rebates include:

  • FREE Deep Drip Watering Stakes – EMWD will supply two 24” Deep Drip Watering Stakes per EMWD account to be used on one tree.

  • FREE Conservation Packet – EMWD offers a FREE Conservation Packet to all customers who request one. This informative packet is loaded with water-saving ideas, tips and techniques.

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District

Water Efficiency Rebates and incentives include:

  • Residential Turf Replacement Rebate –  Turf Replacement rebates are $2.25 per square foot for up to 5,000 square feet and are available on a first-come, first serve basis.

  • Drip Conversion Rebate EVMWD offers up to $0.25 per square foot for a maximum of 2,000 square feet for converting existing sprinkler systems to drip irrigation systems.

Fontana, CA

Water Conservation programs include:

  • FREE Sprinkler Timer and Nozzle Retrofit Program – If you have a working irrigation system with a controller and at least 25 sprinkler nozzles (not brass) you are eligible

Fresno, CA

Water rebates include:

  • Lawn to Garden Rebate – A $1.00 per square foot rebate is available for the removal of existing lawns when replaced with water-efficient landscapes, up to a maximum of 1,500 square feet.

  • Micro (Drip) Irrigation Rebate – A $0.50 per square foot rebate is available for the replacement of existing overhead spray sprinklers with micro (drip) irrigation.

  • High-Efficiency Sprinkler Nozzle Rebate – A rebate of up to $4.00 per qualified sprinkler nozzle is available for the new installation or replacement of existing traditional overhead spray sprinklers with qualified high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles.  Rebate requires a minimum of 6 nozzles.  The maximum rebate is $100.

  • Smart Irrigation Controller Rebate – A rebate of up to $100 is available for the purchase and installation of a qualifying new WaterSense certified Smart Irrigation Controller.

  • Rain Sensor Rebate – A rebate of up to $50 is available for the purchase and installation of a qualifying new rain sensor.

  • Swimming Pool Cover Rebate – A rebate of up to $100 is available for the purchase and installation of a qualifying new swimming pool cover.

Rain BarrelRebate – A rebate of up to $50 is available for the purchase and installation of up to two (2) qualifying rain barrels

Glendora, CA

Rebate Programs include:

  • Water Saving Devices – $100 for weather based irrigation controller, $50 for a rain barrel, and $50 for a pool cover

Long Beach, CA

Residential water-saving programs include:

  • Lawn-to-garden:  incentive of $3.00 per square foot of lawn removed in the front yard and/or $2.00 per square foot in the backyard, for a total of up to 5,000 square feet. A design reimbursement of up to $1,500 for the cost of a professional landscape design is also available.

Los Angeles, CA

Water conservation rebates and programs include:

  • Weather-based irrigation controller – Up to $200 per unit for less than an acre

  • Soil Moisture Sensor System – Up to $200 per unit for less than an acre

  • Rotating Nozzles – Up to $6 per nozzle

  • Smart Hose Bib Irrigation Controllers – Up to $35

  • Turf Replacement Program – receive a rebate for turf replacement of $5.00 per square foot for 5,000 square feet (Sq. Ft.) maximum.

  • Rain Barrel – Up to $50

  • Cistern – Up to $500

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

This organization is a “consortium of 26 cities and water districts” serving around 19 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Residents of this water district may also qualify for programs in their city and can apply for both. Residential rebates available through the Metropolitan Water District include:

Orange County, CA

Residential outdoor water conservation rebates include:

  • Turf removal program – Rebates start at $3 per square foot of turf removed. Program participants are also eligible to apply for a free landscape design.

  • Smart Sprinkler Timers – $180, or more in select areas for properties less than one acre-or- $35 per station for properties greater than one acre.

  • Sprinkler Nozzles – $2 (or more) per nozzle, with a 30 nozzle minimum.

  • Drip irrigation – Rebates start at $0.50 per square foot.

  • Soil Moisture Sensor – Up to $80, or more in select areas, for properties less than one acre; OR $35 per station for properties at least one acre or greater.

Rain Barrels and Cisterns – Rebates start at $35 per rain barrel and $250 per cistern.

Roseville, CA

Residential water rebates include:

  • Cash for Grass –  The City of Roseville will rebate customer $1.00 per square foot of turf grass removed and replaced with water efficient landscape up to $1000 per address.

Sacramento, CA

Residential Water Wise Rebates include:

  • Turf Conversion Rebates – Residents can receive up to $1.50 per square foot of replaced turf (up to $3,000).

  • Irrigation Upgrade Rebates – Maximum rebate amount is $800 for irrigation materials used to upgrade or convert to water efficient systems. Labor costs by a licensed General Contractor or landscaping contractor (C-27) of up to $150 may be included as a reimbursement expense.

  • Rain Barrel Rebates – Receive a rebate of up to $150 ($0.75 per gallon captured, up to 200 gallons) to install rain barrels.

  • Laundry-to-Landscape Rebates – A rebate of up to $100 is available for the materials needed to install a gray water system that diverts gently-used water from your washing machine and routes it to mulch basins around your trees or bushes.

San Bernardino, CA

Outdoor rebates and incentives include:

  • Artificial Turf Rebate – Replace irrigated grass turf with artificial turf and receive $2 per square foot (up to $400).

  • Drip Irrigation System Rebate – Customers purchasing and installing a drip system in their landscaping or garden may qualify for a 50% rebate, up to $150.

  • Drought Tolerant Plant Rebate – Incorporate drought-tolerant trees, plants, and shrubs into your landscaping and receive a 50% rebate (up to $300)

  • Garden Hose Shut-Off Nozzle Rebate – Purchase an automatic shut-off nozzle for your garden hose and receive a rebate of up to $10. Limit 2 per residence.

  • High-Efficiency Sprinkler Nozzle Rebate – Customers can also qualify for a 50% rebate, up to $200, for installing High-Efficiency sprinkler heads

  • Irrigation Controller Rebate – Customers can get up to a $250 rebate for installing a weather-based controller or $100 for a standard controller.

  • Pool Cover Rebate – Purchase a cover for your pool and receive a rebate of up to $75.

  • Turf Removal Rebate – Replace grass turf with approved materials and receive a rebate of $2 per square foot (up to $2,000)

  • Turf Replacement Material Rebate – Replace grass turf with mulch or gravel and receive a 50% rebate (up to $300).

  • Free Water-Smart Landscape Workshops – To help our customers reduce their water use without sacrificing the outdoor beauty of their home, the city hosts free Landscaping Classes every Spring and Fall!

San Diego County, CA

Residential rebates include:

  • Discounted Rain Barrels – Solana Center for Environmental Innovation offers discounted rain barrels that are eligible for rebates at Rainwater – Catch It San Diego!

  • Waterscape Rebate Program – financial incentives to:

    • Replace high-water use turf with watersmart, native plants

    • Install weather-based irrigation controllers

    • Install a rain barrel, rain cistern, rain garden, or other rain-saving feature

    • Install rain gutters

    • Upgrade old driveways and parking lots with pavers or porous pavement

    • Pump your septic tank and prevent costly repairs

San Diego City rebates

  • Graywater Systems – Using graywater is an excellent way to recycle and conserve water.

  • Rain Barrels are used to capture rainwater from hard surfaces such as rooftops to help prevent pollution in our storm drain system as well as conserve water for irrigation.

  • Rain Gutters capture rainwater from roof tops and divert it to rain barrels or pervious landscape which naturally filters runoff, helping to decrease the amount of pollutants in our bays, ocean and waterways.

  • Downspout Redirects are devices that redirect rainwater from our storm drains to a pervious landscaped area that naturally filters runoff, helping to decrease the amount of pollutants in our bays, ocean and waterways.

  • Free Mulch from Miramar Greenery – Mulch is a reliable, cost-effective product for water retention, erosion control and weed suppression. Free mulch is available to San Diego residents with proof of residency. Wood chips and compost are also available for a fee.

San Juan Water District

Water efficiency rebates include:

Santa Clara Valley Water District

Total rebates can add up to $3,000 for residential sites for converting approved high water use landscape, such as lawns and pools, to low water use landscape and retrofit existing irrigation equipment with approved high-efficiency irrigation equipment.

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency

Residential conservation rebates include:

  • Lawn Replacement – offers a $3 per square foot incentive and adds more flexibility to mix, match and stack additional incentives and rebates to enhance your project including a native plant bonus incentive and drip irrigation incentive at $.50 and $.75 per square foot, respectively. Additional rebates are available as pilot programs for water retention features, sheet mulching, bee hotel and owl boxes, and rain barrels.

  • Irrigation Control & Efficiency – Up to $150 for one smart irrigation controller and up to $150 for one soil moisture sensor

Efficiency Product Rebates – $.75 per sq. ft. for drip irrigation, 100% for high-efficiency nozzle, 75% of the purchase price for master pressure regulation, 75% of the purchase price for pressure regulating valve, Up to $10 each for pressure regulating bodies with check valve, up to $75 each for up to two rain barrels, up to $200 for one pool cover.

Santa Monica, CA

Residential water rebates include:

  • Cash for Grass – $3.50/sq.ft. up to $6,000 for a single-family home for replacing turf grass with appropriate plants and mulch.

  • Spray to Drip Rebate Program – $2.00/sq.ft. up to $4,000 maximum for a single-family home to replace your operational sprinklers in planter beds and hedges with highly efficient drip irrigation that delivers water directly to the plants

Santa Rosa, CA

Residential rebates include:

  • Cash for Grass – $1.50/sq ft of lawn removed

  • NEW Pool Removal Rebate – Santa Rosa Water can help offset removal costs with a rebate up to $750.

  • NEW Pool Cover Rebate – Purchase and install a new qualifying pool cover and Santa Rosa may be able to provide you a one-time credit on your next water bill.

Solano County, CA

Residential water rebates include:

  • Water-Efficient Landscape Rebate Program – Applicants may be eligible for a rebate of $1.00 per square foot (sq. ft.) when converting their lawn to a sustainable watershed appropriate landscape. The maximum rebate is $1,000 per eligible residential water service site

  • Smart Irrigation Controller Rebates – Install a qualifying smart controller to irrigate your existing landscape and you could receive up to $300, $700, or $1000 depending on the number of stations.

  • Flume Smart Home Water Monitor discount – Purchase a Flume Smart Home Water Monitor for just $24 (plus tax and shipping)!

Ventura, CA

Rebates and Incentives include:

Walnut Valley Water District

Residential rebates include:

Windsor, CA

The Water Efficient Landscapes Rebate Program includes:

  • Up to $500 in rebates for residential properties for the removal of lawn or for the purchase of sprinkler equipment that improves efficiency

  • Free WaterSmart Checkup -free opportunity to receive site-specific water-saving recommendations

Marin Municipal Water District

Rebates and programs include:

  • Graywater: Laundry-to-Landscape – They’ve partnered with the Urban Farmer Store to offer free laundry-to-landscape graywater webinars and a $125 discount on your purchase of a graywater kit.

  • Flume Smart Home Water Monitors – Marin Water is offering Flume Smart Home Water Monitors for just $49, after installation (and shipping and handling) to single-family residential customers.

  • Pool and Spa Covers: rebate of up to $100 for customers that purchase and install pool or spa covers

  • Rachio Smart Irrigation Controllers – Marin Water partnered with Rachio and the California Water Efficiency Partnership (CalWEP) to offer Marin Water’s customers a significant discount, up to 70%, on Rachio 3 controllers.

  • WaterSense Smart Irrigation Controllers – Install a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller and receive a rebate up to $100. Note: Customers may apply for only one controller incentive, not both.

  • Rain Barrel and Cistern Rebate Program – Marin Water offers up to 50 cents per gallon of storage, not to exceed actual cost. Total rebates for rain barrels and cisterns may not exceed $1,000 per site.

  • Cash for Grass – Marin Water is currently offering customers a limited time offer of a $3 per square foot cash rebate in return for replacing grass in their landscapes.

Colorado Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Colorado residents should check out Resource Central to easily find water conservation rebates available to them through their water provider. This Boulder-based non-profit has an easy-to-use Water Eligibility tool that allows you to select your city or water authority and a list of programs and incentives available to you.

Arvada, CO

Water saving programs include:

  • Garden-in-a-Box: Each spring City of Arvada water customers can save $25 on Garden In A Box kits, while supplies last. These are water saving gardens that retail between $104 and $149.

  • Waterwise Yard Seminars – Learn how to water less in these free Waterwise Yard Seminars taught by Colorado low-water landscape pros.

  • Lawn Replacement – City of Arvada water customers are eligible for up to $500 off Resource Central’s Lawn Replacement Program to put towards a Lawn Removal Service discount, free low-water Garden In A Box kits, or both (application is closed for 2022 – check back next year).

  • Smart Controller ProgramOrbit B-Hyve smart controllers and installation (a $200 value) will be offered at the reduced rate of $84 for Arvada residents!

Aurora, CO

Residential water rebates include:

  • Water-wise Landscape Rebate – Aurora Water incentivizes the conversion of water-guzzling turf lawns to water-wise landscapes with a max residential rebate of $3,000.

  • Residential Irrigation Rebates – $200 for smart controller, $15 – 50 for rain sensors, $100 each for up to two soil moisture sensors, $12 each for gear-driven rotor sprinklers, $9 each for pop-ip sprinkler bodies, $6 each for high-efficiency nozzles, and $75 for up to three zones for spray-to-drip conversion.

Colorado Springs Utilities

Residential rebates and incentives include:

  • Irrigation Equipment Rebates – up to $50 for smart irrigation controllers, Up to $50 for wireless & $25 for wired rain sensors, up to $5 each for sprinkler heads with check valves, up to $4 each for rotating matched precipitation nozzles.

Louisville, CO

Residential rebates and incentives include:

Denver, CO

Residential rebates include:

  •  Rotary/high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles – up to $3 rebate per sprinkler head.

  •  WaterSense-labeled smart irrigation controller – up to a $75 rebate.

Thornton, CO

Residential rebates and programs include:

  • Water-Wise Landscape Rebate – Transform a section of your yard, either grass or a problem area, into a water-wise garden with low-water plants and get $2 per sq. ft. in return.

  • Irrigation Controller Rebate – Get up to $200 back for the installation of an EPA WaterSense certified smart weather-based controller.

  • Rain Sensor Rebate – Get a $25 rebate for a residential rain sensor connected to a sprinkler system.

  • Discounted Garden-in-a-box – Thornton Water customers are eligible for a $25 discount on a professionally designed Garden In A Box, while supplies last.

  • Lawn Removal Service – There is a limited number of appointments available to Thornton water customers at a cost of $1 per sq. ft. of lawn removed. All projects must be at least 200 sq. ft.

  • Sprinkler Consultation – The city works together with Resource Central to provide a series of tests on an underground lawn irrigation system that determines how efficient a system is. Sprinkler consultations are available June through August.

Woodmoor, CO

Residential outdoor rebates include:

  • Irrigation Controller – $35 rebate to purchase an irrigation control (clock) that sets multiple days and time limits to conserve water.

  • Rain sensor – $25 rebate to purchase a rain sensor that overrides an irrigation system when detecting rainfall.

Kansas Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Witchita, KS

Water Conservation Rebate Programs include:

  • Rain Barrel Rebate – $75.00 for purchased and installed 45 gallons or larger rain barrel.

  • Rain Sensor-Shutoff Rebate – $100.00 for a new and installed rain sensor-shutoff that interrupts an automated irrigation system operation after ¼-inch of rain has been received.

  • Smart Irrigation Controller – $100.00 for a new and installed stand-alone or add-on irrigation controller that waters a landscape using Wichita, KS evapotranspiration (ET) values, & replaces a conventional irrigation clock (New Construction isn’t eligible).

Minnesota Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Eden Prairie, MN

Water Conservation Rebate Programs include:

Nevada Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Southern Nevada Water Authority

This water authority is made up of seven member agencies including Big Bend Water District, Boulder City, Clark County Water Reclamation, Henderson, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Valley Water District, and North Las Vegas. Residential water rebates include:

New Mexico Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority

Residential rebates include:

  • Efficient Irrigation Rebates25% up to $100 for each WaterSense Smart Irrigation Controllers, smart flow sensors, and smart pressure regulators. $4 for each WaterSense Pressure Spray Sprinkler Body, $2 per head for Smart High Efficiency rotating sprinkler nozzle.

  • Desert Friendly Xeriscape Conversion Rebate – Residential Customers qualifying landscapes will receive a maximum of $2.00 for every square foot of high-water use turf grass that is converted.

  • Treebates – 25% up to $100 for professional tree care or for the purchase of new low and medium water use trees.

  • Rainwater Harvesting rebates  – Up to $150 rebate based on total amount of rain that can be stored in a rain barrel or cistern.

Texas Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Austin, TX

Residential landscaping rebates include:

Utah Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Utah residents should visit to see programs and rebates they’re eligible for depending on their location.

Central Utah Water Conservancy District

Residential water rebates include:

  • Smart Controller – rebate for up to $75 when you purchase an eligible WaterSense-labeled smart controller.

  • Flip Your Strip –  rebates of up to $1.25/sq ft to homeowners who convert their current lawn filled park strip to a water efficient design.

  • Localscapes Rewards – Localscapes is an approach to landscaping designed specifically for Utah. You could qualify for cash rewards and a free review of your Localscapes landscape plan.

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District

Residential water rebates include:

  • Flip Your Strip –  rebate is $1.25 per square foot of turf removed and replaced with water-wise landscaping

  • Smart Irrigation Controllers  – Smart controller rebates are 50% of the cost of a smart controller up to a maximum of $150.00.

Washington Low-Water Landscaping Rebates

Saving Water Partnership

This organization is composed of partner utilities that provide water to over 300,-000 customers in King and Snohomish Counties. Residential rebates include:

Cascade Water Alliance

Cascade is a municipal corporation comprised of seven municipalities (five cities and two water and sewer districts) in the Puget Sound region that joined together to provide safe, clean, reliable water supply to its 380,000 residents. Programs available include:

  • Cascade Gardener – free gardening classes to help you have beautiful, healthy landscapes while using water efficiently.

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