2015 was a banner year for water conservation legislation and other measures that were instituted to help pull California out of its 4 year historic drought. One of the most interesting incentive programs created was done by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). They created 2 new rebate programs to help Californians replace inefficient toilets and tear out water-guzzling lawns, further conserving water during the state’s historic drought.
The “turf and toilet” rebate program is financed by the Proposition 1 water bond approved by voters in 2014. The program will help carry out Governor Brown’s April 1 Executive Order on drought to further reduce water use in homes by replacing more than 10 million square-feet of lawn and upgrading more than 60,000 water-wasting toilets.
DWR will oversee the two rebate programs, which provide a $100 consumer rebate to replace one old toilet per household and up to $2 per square foot for lawn replacement. Californians can visit www.SaveOurWaterRebates.com to apply for the rebates.
With $24 million in Proposition 1 funding, the turf replacement program rebated $2 per square foot of turf replaced, up to $2,000 per household through state or local turf replacement programs. Consumers are eligible to replace turf that is living or dead at the time of the rebate application.
The turf rebate program is estimated to benefit more than 10,000 homes, with a focus on disadvantaged communities hardest hit by the drought. $12 million of the lawn removal funds is targeted for residents in disadvantaged communities in areas with depleted groundwater basins.
The $6 million toilet rebate program, also funded through Proposition 1, will help Californians replace approximately 60,000 old, inefficient toilets by offering a $100 customer rebate per household to replace with a high-efficiency toilet.