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Water-Use Efficiency Rebates for a WaterSmart Home

Rebates are available for San Diego County residents seeking to reduce their water use and water bills, as drought persists across the Southwest U.S. The second year of drought, and a statewide call for water-use conservation, makes this an ideal time to be “WaterSmart.”

Outdoor water-efficiency rebates

Outdoor water use is 53% of the water used by residential properties. Most of that water is applied to keep grass green. There are a variety of rebates and classes that can help you upgrade your turf landscape to a beautiful sustainable, water-saving landscape. To learn more, visit WaterSmartSD.org. Available rebates include:

  • Turf Removal – Rebates start at $3 per square foot for qualifying projects that replace grass with landscapes that incorporate water-saving plants, irrigation system upgrades and rainwater capture.
  • Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers – Rebates start at $80 for controllers that automatically adjust the irrigation schedule to account for changing weather, soil conditions and plant types. For landscapes large than one acre, rebates start at $35 per station. Homeowners can save 8,800 gallons of water annually by replacing a standard clock timer with a WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller.
  • Rain Barrels – Rebates start at $35 for up to two rain barrels, or $250-$350 for a cistern to collect rainwater for later use, while minimizing the amount of water flowing into storm drains, sewer systems and local waterways.
  • Soil Moisture Sensor Systems – Rebates start at $80 on sensors for landscapes less than one acre and $35 per irrigation station for larger sites.
  • Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles – Rebates start at $2 per nozzle for nozzles that apply water slowly and uniformly to prevent over-watering and encourage healthy plant growth. Participants must buy at least 30 nozzles from the list of qualified products.
  • Flow Monitoring/Leak Detection Devices – Rebates start at $100 for qualifying models that monitor your home’s water use and can help detect leaks.
  • Unincorporated Areas – Residents and businesses in unincorporated areas of San Diego County are eligible for increased water-use efficiency rebates under a new partnership between the County’s Watershed Protection Program and the San Diego County Water Authority. Water customers in unincorporated San Diego County can determine their eligibility at: SanDiegoCounty.gov/WatershedRebates.

Indoor water-efficiency rebates

Indoor water use makes up 47% of water used on residential properties. A homeowner can save four gallons of water during every shower by replacing showerheads with WaterSense-labeled models. Available indoor rebates include:

  • Premium High-Efficiency Toilets – Rebates start at $40 for toilets that use 1.1. gallons per flush from the qualified list. Toilets make up 30% of a typical home’s indoor water use.
  • High-Efficiency Clothes Washers – Rebates start at $85 for washers. Qualified products are listed at com and additional rebates may be available from San Diego Gas and Electric at sdge.com. High-efficiency washers have a 55% water savings and 25% energy savings.
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Ten tips to live WaterSmart. Graphic: San Diego County Water Authority

Free landscape makeover classes and resources

The WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program will help you create an outdoor space that loves San Diego as much as you do! The classes and videos offer the skills, knowledge, and confidence to turn turf areas into outdoor rooms that will thrive in San Diego County’s climate. The four-class series is taught by local landscape professionals who focus on creating actionable design, planting, and irrigation plans for each participant’s landscape.

Three-hour virtual workshops are also available and focus on various landscape topics with a “do-it-yourself” approach. The Landscape Makeover Videos on Demand series mirrors the content of the four-class series, taking homeowners step-by-step through the process of creating water-efficient landscapes. Twenty short, entertaining videos cover topics ranging from soil health and plant selection to rainwater harvesting.

Free WaterSmart checkup

Homeowners who would like advice on lowering their water use, adjusting their irrigation controller, or upgrading their irrigation system can schedule a free on-site WaterSmart checkup by going to WaterSmartCheckup.org. A WaterSmart Checkup is an opportunity to receive free, site-specific water-saving recommendations. Homeowners benefit from the perspective of certified irrigation professionals and decide if and when to implement the suggestions. There is no obligation. Savings can top 20%.

The Water Authority’s Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Program trains professionals in water-efficient landscape principles and practices, including soils, plant selection, irrigation systems, and scheduling specific to the region. They’ll help you upgrade and maintain your landscape with a focus on the San Diego climate. To find a pro in your area go to qwel.net.

WaterSmart living may not only save money, but create vibrant yards, reduce energy use, protect natural resources, reduce landscape maintenance, and improve property values. It also creates a shared sense of purpose about how San Diegans use their limited water supplies — in a word, WaterSmart.

California Drought Could Lead to Mandatory Water Restrictions Reinstated Statewide

Even on an overcast, dewy day at the beach, drought conditions are of concern.

In July, Governor Gavin Newsom urged everyone across the state to cut their water use by 15%, but some water experts say that may not be enough.

“For us in San Diego County, we live in an arid region and we should be really behaving like we live in a drought 365 days of the year,” said Ian Monahan said, director of marketing and philanthropy for I Lova A Clean San Diego, an environmental non-profit focused on zero waste.

San Diego County, Water Authority Partner on Efficiency Rebates

Residents and businesses in unincorporated areas of San Diego County are eligible for increased water-use efficiency rebates under a partnership announced Tuesday between the county’s Watershed Protection Program and the San Diego County Water Authority.

The program could save money for residential, commercial and agricultural customers who make landscape upgrades designed to improve the region’s climate resilience and reduce the flow of pollutants into waterways.

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New Partnership Promotes WaterSmart Landscapes, Healthy Watersheds in San Diego County

Residents and businesses in unincorporated areas of San Diego County are eligible for increased water-use efficiency rebates under a new partnership between the County’s Watershed Protection Program and the San Diego County Water Authority.

The County’s new Waterscape Rebate Program will save money for residential, commercial, and agricultural customers who make landscape upgrades that improve the region’s climate resilience and reduce the flow of pollutants into waterways. Sustainable landscapes produce multiple benefits for San Diego communities, such as reducing water use, enhancing habitat, increasing stormwater retention, and decreasing run-off.

Increased rebates with new partnership

The newly enhanced incentives include rebates that start at $3 per square foot for turf replacement, $60 per smart controller station, $65 per rain barrel and up to $450 per cistern. The agencies are also offering technical assistance to upgrade larger landscapes on multifamily and commercial properties, and a cost-share with agricultural growers to make water-saving upgrades.

Water customers in unincorporated San Diego County can determine their eligibility at: SanDiegoCounty.gov/WatershedRebates.

For the past 30 years, the Water Authority and its member agencies have promoted water-use efficiency through a variety of tools such as rebates, classes, and other resources available across their service areas. Landscaping upgrades are particularly important because more than half of all residential water use is outdoors. Some cities and water agencies in the region choose to increase the rebates like the County is doing for residents in unincorporated areas. Rebates, classes and incentives available to all residents in the San Diego metropolitan area are also at www.watersmartsd.org.

Drought conditions across the West are a reminder of the importance of water-efficiency upgrades, and these rebates offer a great opportunity to get involved,” said Kelley Gage, Director of Water Resources for the San Diego County Water Authority. “With a WaterSmart approach, we can reduce water-use and maintain climate-friendly landscapes that help sustain our quality of life in San Diego County.”

Maximize your yard. Minimize your bills

The new partnership is part of the County’s new Waterscape Rebate Program, which helps to protect local waterways by reducing pollutants that enter storm drains. The program includes outreach and education to commercial, industrial, and residential properties in unincorporated areas of the county. In addition to the programs administered by the Water Authority, the County is offering programs with rebates for upgrades including rain gardens, gutters, permeable pavement, and regular septic system pumping.

Project Clean Water

“The County is committed to reducing stormwater pollution to help protect water and foster healthy communities,” said Scott Norris, Land Use Environmental Planning Manager at the County of San Diego. “Partnering with the Water Authority allows us to offer even more resources to help unincorporated residents and business owners upgrade their properties with incentives that can cover a large portion of the costs and actively contribute to protecting our waterways for everyone.”

To learn about how individual actions can promote clean water and healthier communities, and to take the “52 Ways to Love Your Water” pledge, go to: www.projectcleanwater.org/

Padre Dam Board Votes to Return Money to Customers Through Rates

March 17, 2021, Santee, Calif. – Padre Dam Municipal Water District’s Board of Directors unanimously approved using the recently received $1,157,552 rebate from the San Diego County Water Authority to offset the District’s next pass‐through rate increase from the San Diego County Water Authority. This action will result in a direct benefit to customers by the reduction or potential elimination of a water pass through increase in 2022.

Escondido to Get $1.75 M Rebate

The city of Escondido is being sent a rebate of $1,754,023 by the San Diego County Water Authority, of which Escondido is a member agency. The Rincon Del Diablo Municipal Water District, which also serves parts of Escondido, was sent a rebate of $630,781. This week the Water Authority’s Board of Directors voted to distribute a rebate of $44.4 million to its 24 member agencies across the region after receiving a check for that amount from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay legal damages and interest.

Earn up to $75 for Fixing a Leak During the Entire Month of March

To assist customers with costs associated with leak repairs and to help conserve our most precious resource – water, Sweetwater Authority is offering rebates of up to $75 for repairs made in March 2021. The special month-long rebate is in celebration of the national Fix a Leak Week, which serves as an annual reminder to check household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems for leaks.

Gary Croucher-Board Chair-San Diego County Water Authority-Primary

Local Water Agencies to Receive $44.4 Million Rebate

I’m so pleased report that yesterday the Water Authority’s Board of Directors voted to distribute a rebate of $44.4 million to its 24 member agencies across the region after receiving a check for that amount from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay legal damages and interest.

The rebate resulted from the Water Authority’s decade-long rate case litigation in state Superior Court seeking to compel MWD to set legal rates and repay overcharges. The Water Authority won several critical issues in cases covering 2011-2014 and was deemed the prevailing party, which means the agency is also owed legal fees and charges in addition to the recent damages and interest payment from MWD.

The court rulings will also help avoid future overcharges and thereby minimize future disputes over MWD’s unlawful Water Stewardship Rate for transporting the Water Authority’s independent water supplies through MWD facilities. Those charges – if they had continued – would have cost San Diego County residents more than $500 million over the life of the Water Authority’s water delivery contract with MWD.

This day has been a long time coming. We never wanted to litigate these issues – but if we had not had the courage to do so, MWD would still be collecting the illegal fees and we would not have money to give back to local retail water agencies across the region.

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Water Authority to Split $44.4M Among Local Agencies After Win in Legal Battle With MWD

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors Thursday announced a plan to distribute a rebate of $44.4 million to its 24 member agencies across the region.

They did so after receiving a check for that amount from the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to pay legal damages and interest after a long legal battle.

Vista Irrigation District Logo

Vista Irrigation District Announces New Smart Leak Detector Rebate Program

Vista, Calif. — Vista Irrigation District is now offering a smart leak detector rebate program. Residential customers will have more opportunities to save water and manage water use under this new program approved by the district’s Board of Directors.