San Diego

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Water Conservation

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Efficient water use is a way of life in San Diego, and it is important to remember that permanent water use restrictions remain in effect regardless of the drought status.  In addition to efficient water use practices, the City has a number of resources available to help residents and businesses reduce water consumption.


Grass Replacement Rebate Program

Is your landscape looking tired? Now is the chance to change that landscape to a drought tolerant one with a rebate from the City of San Diego. Once again, a rebate is available to encourage property owners to conserve our precious resource ... water! Grass thirsty lawns are estimated to use up to 44 gallons of water per square foot per year. Water-wise landscapes can use 70 percent less water than grass lawns.

Replacing your landscape with water-wise materials reduce irrigation, creates a low-maintenance environment and can create a habitat for wildlife such as butterflies and humming birds.

City of San Diego water customers can receive up to $4,250 for residential owners and $17,000 for commercial owners.

See the guidelines below for program details. Applications will be accepted Dec. 1-15, 2017. Because there are limited funds for this popular rebate, applications received within the submission period will be selected through a lottery-type process until funding is exhausted.

Here are:

Rainwater Harvesting Rebates (Rain Barrels and Downspouts)

Rain barrels and downspouts are used to capture rainwater from hard surfaces such as rooftops. These barrels are a quick way to conserve - then use - water for irrigation purposes, as well as to help prevent pollution by reducing the amount of runoff entering our storm drain system.


Landscape Design for Homeowners Workshop

This free, three-hour workshop will teach homeowners the basics of how to do a landscape makeover. Topics include soil, design, turf removal, plant selection, planning, irrigation, rainwater catchment and implementation -- all the elements needed to convert high-water-use turf to a beautiful, water-efficient landscape.


Weather-Based Irrigation Controller (WBIC) Systems

Save Water, Save Money

More than half of residential water is applied to home landscapes, however, many landscapes are overwatered due to sprinkler controllers that are not programmed properly.

Weather-Based Irrigation Controller (WBIC) systems use smart technology to optimize the use of water needed for irrigation.

“Conserving water is a way of life in San Diego, regardless of drought status. The weather-based irrigation controller systems that are part of this pilot program could save one million gallons of water annually. A WBIC will save water and reduce the homeowner’s water bills, all in an effortless manner,” stated Councilmember Chris Cate.

Being weather-based and synchronized with an on-site weather sensor, a WBIC will know when to skip a watering if rain is in the forecast.

To learn more about this program click here.


Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) Rebates


City of San Diego residential water customers served by an individual water meter may be eligible to receive a rebate up to $100 per property. The rebate covers the cost of a new indoor PRV and is intended for properties that currently have a static pressure equal or greater than 80 psi (pounds per square inch) and cannot be adjusted downward. For more information, please see the PRV Rebate PDF icon Program Guidelines and PDF icon FAQ.

Graywater System Rebates

The Graywater Systems Rebate Program is open and awaiting your applications. To learn more about the program please read the PDF icon Graywater Systems fact sheet. There you will find recommendations, program parameters and requirements, and information about the rebate process. Once you're ready, you can apply for the Graywater Systems Rebate Program PDF icon here.

Residential and Commercial Water Surveys At No CostPDF icon Cover of Residential Water Survey Program flyer

Leaks and over-irrigation can cause significant waste. The City of San Diego offers water conservation services, including its Residential Water Survey, Multi-Family Survey, Commercial Survey and Water-Wise Business Survey programs. These free programs are available to property owners and tenants located within the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department's service area. Visit the Water Surveys Programs page for more details. For a survey appointment and more information, call (619) 570-1999, or email [email protected].


Free California-Friendly Landscape Classes

A more attractive and water-efficient yard sounds enticing, doesn't it? Need more inspiration? Then sign up for a FREE California-Friendly Landscape Class!

The San Diego Public Utilities Department is partnering with the San Diego County Water Authority and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to offer free training classes on WaterSmart landscaping. The class introduces a holistic approach to landscape design and maintenance that emphasizes water-use efficiency. This class does not discuss specific plants, but provides a solid foundation regarding landscape planning before selecting plants.

The three-hour seminars are fast-paced and informative. They offer solutions to common landscape problems. Participants will learn to think about landscapes from the soil up. In addition, they will learn how to design landscapes that are sustainable in the San Diego climate. Class topics will include how to make the best use of the region's limited rainfall, irrigate efficiently and choose the best plants for each yard.For information about all of the free WaterSmart landscaping classes in the County of San Diego, please visit: Water Smart California Friendly Landscape Training Class.

Landscape watering calculator

The City of San Diego Landscape Watering Calculator is an easy-to-use tool that helps you estimate the right amount of water to give your landscape or garden.


Under current U.S. tax code, water conservation rebates are not tax-exempt. A social security number or a taxpayer identification number (TIN) must be provided via a completed PDF icon Form W-9 along with the rebate application paperwork PDF icon in order to receive a rebate. Form W-9 is used to officially ask a person or business to provide their name, address and taxpayer identification number so the requesting party can properly issue tax documents to the Internal Revenue Service.

Please consult with a tax advisor if you have questions regarding any potential tax implications of your rebate.

Contact Us

Report water waste by calling 619-533-5271 or sending an email to [email protected].

General Water Conservation Information: 619-533-7485

For other questions or concerns call 619-515-3516 or email [email protected].

Visit http://socalwatersmart.com/?page_id=2954 for rebate opportunities through SoCal Water$mart.


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