New California rebate programs provide water-saving incentives |

New California rebate programs provide water-saving incentives

Two new rebate programs provide financial incentives to single-family residences to replace inefficient toilets and tear out water-guzzling lawns.

The water conservation rebate programs, administered and launched this week by the California Department of Water Resources, will replace 10 million square feet of lawn with low-water using landscapes, and upgrade more than 60,000 water-wasting toilets statewide.

The programs provide a $100 consumer rebate to replace one old toilet per household, and up to $2 per square foot for lawn replacement.

“These ‘toilet and turf’ residential incentive programs target big water users,” said Nevada City Manager Mark Prestwich. “Toilets are a large water user inside and over 50 percent of residential water is used outdoors.”

“Replacing an old, inefficient toilet can save water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent, and native plants can use up to 75 percent less water than lawns,” he added. “This drought is reminding us that every drop counts, and that water conservation needs to be a way of life here in the Sierra Foothills.”

The $24 million turf replacement program will rebate $2 per square foot of turf replaced, up to $2,000 per household. The program is estimated to benefit more than 10,000 homes, (and) half of the lawn removal funds are targeted for residents in disadvantaged communities in areas with depleted groundwater basins.

The $6 million toilet rebate program will help replace approximately 60,000 old, inefficient toilets with a new high- efficiency toilet by offering a $100 customer rebate per household.

The Proposition 1 water bond approved by voters in 2014 financed both rebate programs.

Meanwhile, statewide mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use remain in place.

All Nevada City customers are required to reduce potable water use by 25 percent and are encouraged to reduce by 35 percent, from 2013 levels for the same period, through February 2016.

Outdoor irrigation is limited to two days a week or less, and watering should be limited to the evening and morning hours — only 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. — to prevent water loss from evaporation. All unnecessary and wasteful uses of water are prohibited.

For water saving tips indoors and out, and for more information on eligibility and to apply for the rebates, visit

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