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  • Ruju Patel

Drip by Drip, Dollar by Dollar: How Water-Saving Landscapes Pay Off

Drip Irrigation


California’s climate demands water-wise landscaping practices. By designing a drought-tolerant yard, you can conserve resources, save money, and contribute to a sustainable environment. Let’s explore practical tips and take advantage of government rebates and programs available in California.

1. Right Plant Right Place

When planning your landscape, consider the following plant options:

Native Plants
  • Choose native plants that thrive in the local climate and soil conditions.

  • Native plants thrive with minimal maintenance and water once established.

Drought-Resistant Varieties
  • Succulents, cacti, and other drought-resistant plants are excellent choices.

  • They require little to no watering, saving you money on water bills compared to a traditional grassy lawn.

2. Ground Covers and Ornamental Grasses

  • Ground Covers: Use creeping thyme, ice plant, and mosses to provide visual interest while keeping water usage low.

  • Ornamental Grasses: These add texture and color with minimal water use.

3. Opt for California-Grown Plants

  • Choose plants native to California or regions with Mediterranean climates.

  • These plants adapt well to the environment, attract beneficial organisms like bees and butterflies, and save water.

4. Government Rebates and Programs

Valley Water’s Landscape Rebate Program
  • Designed to encourage residents and businesses to convert high-water-use landscapes (such as lawns and pools) to low-water-use landscapes.

  • Rebates valued up to:

  1. $3,000 for residential sites.

  2. $100,000 for commercial/multi-family sites (5 or more units).

  3. Maximum rebates may be even higher in some cost-sharing areas.

  • Available until June 30, 2024, or until funds are depleted.

  • Four rebate categories:

  1. Landscape Conversion Rebate: Transform lawns into drought-tolerant landscapes.

  2. Lawn to Mulch Rebate: Replace lawns with mulch.

  3. In-Line Drip Irrigation Conversion Rebate: Upgrade from spray irrigation to drip systems.

  4. Irrigation Equipment Upgrade Rebate: Install high-efficiency irrigation equipment.

  • Apply using the Online Application Portal and track projects.

Cal Water’s Lawn-to-Garden and Spray-to-Drip Rebates

  • Rebate of $3 per square foot for lawn removal.

  • At least 50% of the grass removed must be converted to drought-tolerant landscaping.

  • Artificial/synthetic turf, dead lawns, or previously removed grass do not qualify.

  • Rebate of $0.50 per square foot for converting from spray irrigation to drip systems.

  • Drip irrigation uses 20-50% less water compared to sprinklers.

  • Drip equipment must be on Cal Water’s Qualified Product List.

5. Other Water-Saving Measures

  • High-Efficiency Appliances: Take advantage of rebates on appliances.


Creating a California-friendly landscape not only beautifies your surroundings but also contributes to water conservation. Explore rebates, choose wisely, and let’s build a sustainable future!


Disclaimer: Rebate programs and availability may vary by location. Please check with your local water agency for the most up-to-date information.

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