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Program Requirements for Landscape Conversion Rebate

Conservation for your landscape

  • A minimum of 75 square feet of qualifying high water using landscape (i.e. irrigated turf or functional swimming pool) must be converted in order to participate in the landscape conversion rebate. If removing an existing swimming pool, all local building codes or permitting requirements must be met. Contact your local planning or building department for specifics. 

  • The converted area must include a sufficient number of qualifying water efficient plants to ensure at least 50% of the area is covered with living plants when the plants are fully grown. To determine coverage value, consult the Water District's Qualifying Plant List. Tree species will not be included in the 50% plant coverage requirement. Plants outside the converted area are not considered in the calculation even if they are adjacent to or overhanging into the converted area. Plants must be installed in the ground in the conversion area to be counted, not in pots.

  • Permeable hardscape such as permeable pavers, decomposed granite, rocks, and boulders are permitted within the converted areas as long as all other terms and conditions of the program are met. Impermeable surfaces, such as concrete and thick plastic (>3 mil), that do not allow water to penetrate into the ground are not permitted within the converted area. 

  • All planting areas must have a minimum of two (2) inches of qualifying mulch, including: chipped or shredded bark, rock, gravel, or weed-free straw. Synthetic rubber mulch will not be allowed. If a weed barrier is used below the mulch, it must be permeable to air and water. Although compost, leaves, and grass clippings are important for providing valuable soil structure, nutrients, and water retention, these materials do not qualify as mulch for this program as they decompose quickly and do not adequately reduce soil evaporation.

  • A limited number of groundcover plants listed on the Water District's Qualifying Plant List may qualify as living mulch provided the individual plants are installed at sufficient density to assure 100% plant cover. The mulch requirement around these plants may be waived on a case-by-case basis.

  • Irrigation systems, if used within the converted area, must be low volume drip, micro-spray, or bubbler. The system must be in good working order, free of leaks and malfunctions. Once installed, the irrigation system must not create run-off, overspray, or misting.

  • Exceptions for overhead irrigation systems in a converted area will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The system shall have no run-off, low head drainage, overspray or other water waste to be accepted. All spray bodies and nozzles must be on the qualifying list and sprinklers must be set in a minimum of two feet from any impervious hardscape (i.e. concrete sidewalks, driveways and roads).

  • There can be no net increase in the size of the irrigated area. The irrigation system must be designed so that any remaining lawn and shrubs are watered separately from the converted landscape area, meaning overhead irrigation is served through a separate valve that can be controlled independently on a separate irrigation zone and schedule.

  • The sprinkler system for the remaining lawn must be modified to provide adequate coverage and may not spray onto the converted landscape area. Pop-up sprinklers must be removed from the converted landscape area.

  • Non-qualifying materials include, but are not limited to the following: artificial turf, seed, sod, vegetable gardens, vineyards, high water use plants, lawn ornaments, impervious surfaces, cement, impervious decking, curbing, hot tubs, pools, building extensions, retaining walls, sheds, trellises, play ground materials, and fences.

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