California may finally be coming out of its drought doldrums, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to practice being water-wise. Landscaping accounts for roughly one-third of a home's total water usage. The Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) offers several different Santa Clara County landscape conversion rebates for Silicon Valley homeowners.
Santa Clara County Landscape Conversion Rebates
Landscape Conversion Rebate
When you replace at least 50% of your high water use landscaping with low water use plants, you may be eligible for a rebate of $1.00 per square foot. For single-family homes in the Cities of Palo Alto and Cupertino as well as those Silicon Valley homes serviced by the San Jose Municipal Water System (SJMWS), you might qualify for a rebate of $2 per square foot on the first 1,000 square feet and $1 for every square foot after that. Those customers in Cupertino or under the service of the SJMWS on a well system do not qualify for the higher amount. However, they could still receive the $1 per square foot rebate.
In-Line Drip Conversion Rebate
Silicon Valley homeowners may be eligible for the in-line drip conversation rebate when they convert their overhead sprinklers to drip irrigation for watering shrubs and flower beds. Traditional spray sprinklers lose water through wind, excessive water runoff, and other factors. Meanwhile, a drip system slowly drips water onto the soil. This allows time for the soil to soak it up. In turn, water gets used more efficiently. Less waste occurs. Tubing comes highly recommended over traditional drip systems because it tends to need less maintenance and won't clog as easily.
Irrigation Equipment Rebates
Finally, Silicon Valley homeowners might be eligible for a variety of rebates when they upgrade their irrigation equipment. For example, when you replace your current nozzles with high-efficiency ones, you can get up to $5 per nozzle. Adding rotor sprinklers with pressure regulation or check valves can net you as much as $20 each. Install a rain sensor and receive up to $50 each. Add a dedicated landscape meter, flow sensor or hydrometer and you'll get up to $1,000 per meter in rebates. "Smart" controllers (aka weather-based irrigation controllers) automatically adjust watering based on the weather and irrigation needs. Receive $300 for your first 12 stations installed. Add an additional 12 stations and receive up to $1000 back on those. If you install 25 stations or more, receive as much as $2000 per controller.
To Apply for a Santa Clara County Landscape Conversion Rebate
Currently, the SCVWD only accepts applications online. First, you will need to create an account. Next, supply any information requested. Then, the SCVWD will contact you for a pre-inspection. After the pre-inspection is completed, you must submit plans of what you intend to do to update your current landscaping/irrigation system. Once this gets approved, work must be completed within 90 days. Wait until you receive your Notice to Proceed to begin any work. After all work is done, Silicon Valley homeowners must request a final inspection. At that time, you may need to submit your receipts for equipment and installation costs as well as photos.
Silicon Valley homeowners can apply for any and all of these Santa Clara County landscape conversion rebates. However, there are caps. Single-family homes can receive up to $2000 total. Homes located in cost-sharing locations can receive an additional $1000. For more information, please contact the Water Conservation Hotline at 408-630-2554. Let's do what we can to continue our great water-saving measures here in California.