Tag Archive for: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Large scale landscape makeover projects like this one by the Jamacha Park HOA may be eligible for increased landscape rebates. Photo: Otay Water District

Increased Rebates in 2024 for Large-Scale Landscape Makeover Projects

San Diego County businesses and public agencies looking to replace ornamental grass with more sustainable landscaping are now eligible for increased rebates from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Metropolitan has added one dollar to its Turf Replacement Program base incentive to $3 per square foot for commercial, industrial and institutional sectors and $4 for public agencies that swap out non-functional grass with California Friendly® and native landscaping.

Funding for the program is provided by a $30 million grant from the California Department of Water Resources.

Landscape makeovers can still be lush and colorful while conserving water.

“We’ve made huge gains in water-use efficiency in Southern California, and businesses and public agencies have the opportunity to help us further that progress,” said Metropolitan Interim General Manager Deven Upadhyay.

“By switching to landscaping that is both beautiful and sustainable, they can help our region better adapt to our changing climate while cutting costs and demonstrating leadership in sustainability in their communities.”

The rebate also helps businesses and municipalities comply with new state legislation taking effect in 2027. Assembly Bill 1572 phases out the use of potable water to irrigate non-functional grass that is not used for recreation or other purposes.

“It’s a great opportunity to reduce the cost to eliminate non-functional turf before the state’s watering ban (AB1572) takes effect,” said Debby Dunn, senior water resources specialist at the San Diego County Water Authority.

For assistance, contact or 858-522-6745.

Additional help for San Diego County projects

SLIDER The Panorama HOA in Lake San Marcos achieved beautiful results from its landscaping makeover project, which will conserve water and preserve the region's watershed. Photo: Vallecitos Water District landscape rebates

The Panorama HOA in Lake San Marcos achieved beautiful results from its landscaping makeover project, which will conserve water and preserve the region’s watershed. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Projects in the unincorporated areas of San Diego County can receive an addition $1 per square foot for their turf removal projects

In an effort to help expand our region’s tree canopy and promote sustainability, a newly launched rebate provides an additional $100 per tree incorporated into projects.   Both commercial and residential participants can receive this rebate for up to five trees per project.

Long-term water savings from conservation programs

WaterSmart Irrigation-Rebates-Water Efficiency

Rebates are available to help property owners in unincorporated areas reduce expenses, providing significant savings on outdoor landscapes.

Metropolitan’s Turf Replacement Program has directly resulted in the removal of over 220 million square feet of grass. This saves enough water to serve about 68,000 households each year.

Conservation programs play an important role in the region’s water supply reliability. Today, about 2.5 million acre-feet of the record 3.4 million acre-feet Metropolitan holds in regional storage is water that has been conserved and stored instead of being consumed. That conserved water has been instrumental in staving off additional and more widespread calls for mandatory water cutbacks.

“We know the challenges ahead will require us to think differently and make the right investments in our infrastructure and water supplies,” said Metropolitan board chair Adán Ortega, Jr. “We appreciate the tremendous work the public has done to help us become more resilient to our extreme weather patterns and look forward to the continued progress that we can achieve as a region.”

For more information on Metropolitan’s conservation initiatives and rebate programs and to apply for a commercial, industrial, institutional or public agency rebate, visit bewaterwise.com/turf.


Adel Hagekhalil: Southern California’s Embattled ‘Water Doctor’

As general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Adel Hagekhalil has overseen a public agency that’s responsible for supplying the water that 19 million people drink. And he has been playing a leading role in efforts to transform how Southern California manages water, one of the most consequential issues the region faces as climate change continues to upend the water cycle.

His influence in this critical sphere currently hangs in the balance. Earlier this month, the water district’s board placed Hagekhalil on leave as it investigates harassment allegations by his chief financial officer that he denies. With him sidelined, some of his supporters are concerned the policies he has been pursuing could be affected.

As California Water Agency Investigates Top Manager, Some Worry Progress Could Be Stymied

In the three years that Adel Hagekhalil has led California’s largest urban water supplier, the general manager has sought to focus on adaptation to climate change — in part by reducing reliance on water supplies from distant sources and investing in local water supplies.

Pure Water Southern California Facility Could Help Keep More Water In Lake Mead

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto D-Nev., and Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., have announced new funding for a large-scale water recycling facility designed to reduce Southern California’s reliance on Colorado River water and keep more water in Lake Mead.

The Department of the Interior has awarded $99 million to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to fund the first phase of the Pure Water Southern California facility, which will produce an estimated 129,000 acre-feet of water per year, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA). That’s enough to serve approximately 386,000 households in Southern California and Southern Nevada.

FPUD and Eastern Recognize Community Leaders

At a special board meeting April 30, the Fallbrook Public Utility District and Eastern Municipal Water District celebrated switching water wholesalers in a move that allows Eastern to provide water service to FPUD. FPUD also recognized many community leaders who worked hard spreading the message of the benefits of detaching. They made phone calls, posted Measure A signs around town, ran ads, and created a campaign to inform people that made the switch go from a possibility into a reality.

Opinion: Even With the Coming Tax and Rate Hikes, Water in SoCal is Pretty Cheap

It’s the most frustrating part of conservation. To save water, you rip out your lawn, shorten your shower time, collect rainwater for the flowers and stop washing the car. Your water use plummets.

And for all that trouble, your water supplier raises your rates. Why? Because everyone is using so much less that the agency is losing money.

Water Agency Gives $182M to Two Projects

Two massive local water purification projects set to begin construction within the next 18 months have received up to $182 million from water wholesaler Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Volunteers participate in the City of San Diego's Arbor Day tree planting event in 2023. Photo: City of San Diego

Celebrate Arbor Day: Discover How San Diego’s Tree Planting Programs Combat Climate Change and Save Water

With climate change creating new challenges for managing safe and reliable water supplies, trees are increasingly recognized and relied on for their importance in helping mitigate weather extremes and contributing to water conservation efforts.

Trees are among the most valuable investments in San Diego County’s landscape – including your own waterwise landscaping. No other landscape plant plays a more significant role in fighting climate change and managing a healthy watershed.

National Arbor Day on Friday, April 26, presents an opportunity to call attention to the benefits of planting trees. Several Arbor Day promotions and ongoing programs in San Diego County offer support for planting trees, including rebates and volunteer events that let you contribute to the effort to provide more trees.

New Tree Rebate Program Launched By Metropolitan Water District

Carefully selected trees are the most valuable addition to your sustainable landscaping. Photo: Helix Water District landscape trees

Carefully selected trees are the most valuable addition to your sustainable landscaping. Photo: Helix Water District

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California launched a new rebate program in March, offering residents and businesses $100 for each eligible tree planted in their yards to replace thirsty grass for more sustainable landscaping.

Metropolitan’s new “tree-bate” provides incentives for up to five trees in residents’ and businesses’ turf replacement projects. The district partnered with TreePeople and local water agencies to identify and recommend trees with lower water use that are appropriate for Southern California’s climate.

Learn about this new rebate and existing rebates at the Be Water Wise website.

SDGE Community Tree Rebate Program

San Diego Gas & Electric offers a tree planting guide through its rebate program. Photo: SDGE arbor day

San Diego Gas & Electric offers a tree planting guide through its rebate program. Photo: SDGE

The San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDGE) Community Tree Rebate Program for Residential Customers allows qualifying residential customers throughout the region to plant trees that provide environmental, health, and economic benefits.

Qualifying customers can receive a $25 rebate for planting or potting a one-gallon tree, a $35 rebate for a five-gallon tree, and a $50 rebate for a 15-gallon tree. Customers can apply for up to five rebates annually. Customers do not need a yard to qualify. Trees can be planted in large containers on outdoor balconies or patio areas.

City of San Diego Arbor Day Event

Volunteers are needed for an Arbor Day event to help plant trees at Memorial Community Park. Photo: City of San Diego

Volunteers are needed for an Arbor Day event to help plant trees at Memorial Community Park. Photo: City of San Diego

On Arbor Day, the City of San Diego’s Urban Forestry Program hopes to plant 100 new trees at Memorial Community Park in Logan Heights. It needs volunteers to help with planting, prepping soil, spreading mulch, and cleanup. Learn more and sign up using this link.

Throughout the year, City of San Diego residents can request a new street tree through Free Tree SD. This program allows residents and the City to work together by increasing San Diego’s tree canopy cover. Residents need to identify a space in the public right-of-way and agree to water the tree for three years. City arborists will evaluate the space and determine an appropriate tree selection. Fill out the Free Tree SD application form on the City’s website to get started.

City of Escondido Celebrates Arbor Day 2024

The City of Escondido needs volunteers to help plant 120 trees for Arbor Day on Saturday, April 27, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Meet at the House of Prayer Lutheran Church, 795 N. Rose Street. Trees will be planted from Oleander Place to Fern Street between Lincoln Avenue and Mission Avenue. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and are asked to wear comfortable clothing for getting dirty, close-toe shoes, and a hat. Sunscreen is highly recommended. Register on the City website.

City of Vista Residential Tree Giveaway Program

The City of Vista now offers a new Residential Tree Giveaway Program. This initiative is available to Vista residents who own property or have permission from the property owner to plant a tree on the premises. The program is first-come, first-served, and available as long as the funds last. Increasing the local tree canopy on private properties enhances wildlife habitat, mitigates the effects of climate change, and supports the City’s Climate Action Plan goals.

Applications are available now. Since this is a pilot program, it is only available as long as funds last. It was funded through a $50,000 year-end fund balance request, approved by the City Council at the end of 2023. The application form is on the City of Vista website.

County of San Diego Tree Planting Program

The County of San Diego surpassed its goal of planting 10,000 trees in 2023 by adding 11,010 trees, including 5,744 new trees planted at County parks and facilities, 1,637 trees planted through non-government organizational partnerships, and 3,629 trees planted by incorporated cities. The Board of Supervisors has budgeted funds to plant 4,000 trees through spring 2024.

The County has a tree plotter to help staff track tree inventory and plantings regionwide. Residents can participate by reporting trees they plant on their own. Visit the County’s Tree Plotter web page to get started.

The Role of Trees In Preventing Climate Change

Healthy trees fight climate change and cool our cities, provide habitat, and improve the health of our neighborhoods. Photo: Kampus Production / Pexels

Healthy trees fight climate change and cool our cities, provide habitat, and improve the health of our neighborhoods. Photo: Kampus Production / Pexels

The hydrological cycle heavily relies on trees to absorb water in the atmosphere. Trees act as water reservoirs, taking in water from the soil and releasing it through their leaves, a process known as transpiration. The added moisture in the air leads to rainfall and the continuation of the water cycle.

Tree root systems filter and remove pollutants and slow down water absorption into the soil. This process helps to prevent erosion and reduce the risk of over-saturation and flooding.

Trees provide cooling to increasingly hot neighborhoods and cities, and they are among the most efficient tools for removing harmful carbon dioxide that fuels global warming.

San Diego forestry and landscaping professionals work with the San Diego County Water Authority and its 23 member agencies to help protect our region’s trees while conserving water. Find more resources at the Kate Sessions Trees website.

Opinion: Metropolitan Water District Soaks Taxpayers With Higher Property Taxes

In what may be an illegal tax increase, the board of the Metropolitan Water District just approved a two-year budget that doubles the property tax it collects in its six-county service area.

California Map Shows Where People Will See Huge Increases in Water Bills

An updated map created by Newsweek shows where millions of residents in southern California counties can expect their water bills to leap by substantial amounts after another water bill rate hike this week.