In an effort to encourage conversion from lawn to water efficient gardens, water agencies and companies across the state offer rebate programs, with some of them listed here. Check with your local water agency to find out.
Save Our Water Turf Replacement Rebate
Cal Water Rebates and Programs
SoCal Water $mart Residential Rebates
Santa Clara Water District Landscape Conversion Rebates
Though similar in nature, each rebate programs are slightly different. Here we use Santa Clara District's program to describe the steps to go through.
Call the number listed on the rebate program, the water company will schedule an appointment for you. When the time comes, someone from the water company will show up at where the lawn is at.
At the pre-inspection, first, the water company person will decide which areas qualify for receiving the rebate, which ones don’t.
According to the program, “areas to be converted must include approved high water using landscape at the time of pre-inspection…In response to the drought, lawns that are dead, brown, yellow or green all qualify as long as the lawn is still physically onsite. Sites do not need to maintain a green, living lawn in order to qualify for the rebate program as long as the dead or stressed lawn was still onsite at the time of the pre-inspection and has not been removed.”
At the inspection, someone from the Rebate Program will inspect the yard, decide whether it qualifies for the rebates or not (Landscape Conversion Rebate, Irrigation Equipment Upgrade Rebate etc). If yes, they will provide the rebate program application forms to be filled out and sent back. If approved, a Notice to Proceed will be received.
The key information to be entered on Application Form before one can submit include:
1. “diagram or set of plans” for the landscape.
The diagram can be a just a sketch of the yard and where the plants will be placed. To see some design of the gardens, see Garden Photos.
2. plant list, each plant’s coverage value, and the total plant coverage (square feet).
After the conversion project is finished, call in to inform the water company. They will ask some questions, then schedule a post-inspection. It can be either a self-guided one, where you can submit some photos per the requirement of the company, or in-person. If the inspection is deemed satisfactory, the company will inform you, and start to process a check. Usually it takes 3-6 weeks for the check to arrive from the date the post-inspection passes.