Ongoing drought conditions require water saving efforts from the Tri-Valley
LIVERMORE, Calif. (July 1, 2021) – Low amounts of local and statewide rainfall, low reservoir levels throughout the state, and low Sierra snowpack have resulted in significant drought conditions that have impacted water supplies in the Tri-Valley. In response, Zone 7 Water Agency recently decided to significantly increase the amount available for two of its popular rebates to support the community in their water conservation efforts. Effective July 1, the Water-Efficient Lawn Conversion Rebate and the High-Efficiency Clothes Washer Rebate will have increased limits.
Zone 7 encourages community members and businesses to replace grass lawns, which require significant amounts of water and fertilizer, with drought-resistant native or low-water plants through its Water-Efficient Lawn Conversion Program. All lawn conversion projects must be approved in advance to be eligible for the rebate.
The rebate is available to homeowners of single-family properties and covers up to 50% of the costs. The maximum rebate amount increased from $750 to $2,000, providing a significant subsidy for those interested in replacing their water thirsty lawns with a beautiful, water-wise landscape.
“In inland suburban communities like ours, lawns account for 60% or more of annual residential water consumption statewide. We are encouraging our community to utilize this new rebate increase to exchange their water intensive lawn for a landscape that is not only drought tolerant, but also beautiful and beneficial to our local ecosystem,” stated General Manager Valerie Pryor, “ and our trained staff are on hand to help walk applicants through the process, every step of the way.”
There are also opportunities for commercial or multi-family property owners to swap out their lawns for a landscape that is not only water-wise, but also lower maintenance and more cost-effective long term. While lawns require constant mowing and frequent fertilizing, in addition to lots of water, native plants are better suited to the local climate and require little to no maintenance and minimal fertilizing. Those applicants can also cover up to 50% of the costs, with the maximum amount of that rebate increasing from $4,500 to $6,000.
The second rebate receiving an increase is the agency’s High Efficiency Washer rebate program, which now offers up to $200 towards the purchase and installation of a qualifying ENERGY STAR High-Efficiency clothes washer with the ‘Most Efficient’ label. High-efficiency washers use far less water and energy than conventional washing machines and require less detergent, making them both economical and eco-friendly. All washers must be selected from the program’s Qualifying Product List, which is updated monthly.
In addition to these two rebates, the agency also offers a Weather-Based Irrigation Controller rebate. Conventional sprinkler systems often apply more water than yards really need. Weather-based irrigation controllers or WaterSense sprinklers automatically shut-off when it rains by sensing the amount of moisture in the soil, so the landscape is only watered when it actually needs it. The controllers are easy to install, simple to program, and adjust to meet current conditions. They help ensure plants are healthy by allowing you to tailor your watering to meet your landscape’s specific needs. The maximum rebate is up to 50% of the customer costs with a maximum rebate of $75 for single-family residences, $100 for multi-family residences, or $3,000 for non-residential properties.
The Tri-Valley area has collectively cut water use over the last ten years and during the last severe drought period, customers increased efforts to save over 40% in 2014. The agency hopes that through the utilization of its water conservation rebates and the water saving tips provided in its new Water Wise Wendy campaign, that the community will band together as before, to save water this year, in anticipation of another dry winter next year. Based on the past response, Zone 7 is not currently mandating conservation or restrictions, however, the agency is calling on the community to voluntarily reduce their water use by 10%.
The agency works with local water retailers, the City of Livermore, City of Pleasanton, and Dublin-San Ramon Services District to provide these rebate programs to support community conservation of water. Residents should check the Zone 7 website for specific eligibility requirements for each rebate program based on your area and water retailer.
For more information, fun, shareable videos, lists of native plants and more resources, visit www.zone7water.com/conservation-and-rebates.