Posted on: June 21, 2017

CWVD increases incentives for outdoor conservation programs


The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) has doubled its incentive to convert turf areas to desert friendly landscaping in an attempt to grow the program, which has already resulted in more than 13 million square feet of grass removal.

The rebate for replacing spray-irrigated living or dead grass with desert-friendly and water-efficient landscape has increased from $1 to $2 per square foot. Projects are now eligible up to a maximum of 10,000 square feet, an increase from 2,000 square feet per year. For commercial customers, the maximum remains at 25,000 square feet per project. The new changes are effective July 1, 2017 and will be in effect for the program year through June 30, 2018 as long as funds are available.

Further continuing its efforts to improve water use efficiency, CVWD has announced a new rebate program for HOA and Commercial customers who upgrade to more efficient irrigation hardware. The rebate pays 25 cents per converted square foot or the total cost of approved irrigation hardware, whichever is less. Eligible projects must range between a minimum of 1,000 square feet to a maximum of 20,000 square feet of irrigated area.

“Conservation is the easiest, most efficient and cost-effective way to reduce water demand and extend our precious water resources,” said Conservation Manager Katie Evans. “These changes will enhance the incentives for domestic water customers to remove the turf and save water.”

Applications for the rebate programs will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. Conversion projects must be pre-approved to be eligible for a rebate.

Turf conversion applicants must:

  • Be a CVWD domestic water customer in good standing
  • Submit a landscape plan and plant list of trees, shrubs, ground covers
  • Submit color photos of existing turf areas listed in the application
  • Have a fully functioning irrigation system
  • Among other program requirements and conditions:
  • Overhead irrigation systems in the project area must be capped off or converted to drip, rotating stream, rotating spray or bubblers.
  • Desert-friendly plants must cover a minimum of 25 percent of the new landscaped area at maturity.
  • Turf cannot be replaced with all rock, decomposed granite or non-permeable hardscape.
  • Artificial turf projects qualify for a rebate.

Research shows that converting from spray-irrigated turf to desert-friendly, drip irrigated landscapes reduces outdoor water use by 70 percent to 80 percent.

Other landscape-related rebates currently available for residential customers are sprinkler nozzle rebates and smart irrigation controller installation.

Applications for these rebate programs are available online at or they may be picked up at CVWD’s Water Management Office, 75-525 Hovley Lane East, Palm Desert.

The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 109,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.

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