Green Rebate Programs
Water Efficiency Program

Reduce your water consumption for almost everything that uses water inside or outside of your business.

Commercial Waterwise Landscaping Rebate

Please note:

Thank you for your interest in our Waterwise Landscape Rebate Program. Public interest in turf removal rebates has been overwhelming and, as a result, all funds currently available for such rebates have been committed.  Additional funding may be secured as early as May 26, 2015.  New terms and conditions for the Turf Removal Program are being considered that may also be announced on May 26, 2015.  The commercial turf removal program will re-open under the new terms and conditions after July 1, 2015.

For commercial turf removal customers interested in pursuing a project after July 1, 2015:

·       Customers may continue to submit requests but approval of reservations requests will be on a first-come first-serve basis and subject to funding availability.

·        Consult with a landscape design professional on the creation of a design for your project.

·        Obtain project proposals from at least two (2) installation contractors.

·        Contact RPU with your reservation request.

·        All reservation requests received after 1 PM on May 12, 2015 will be subject to any new terms and conditions that will be announced on May 26, 2015.

·        Submittal of a reservation request does not guarantee approval or payment.


The Waterwise Landscape Rebate Program provides incentives for Riverside Public Utilities' non-residential water customers who replace existing lawn areas with water-efficient, California-friendly plants.

Please note: You must call RPU at 951-826-5485 to schedule a pre-installation inspection before removing turf and planting. Funding is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

What are the benefits of installing Waterwise landscaping?

By replacing large turf areas with drought-tolerant, California-friendly landscaping and using efficient irrigation, outdoor water use can be cut by up to 50%. 

What are the rebate amounts?

Customers can receive incentives of up to $3.00 per square foot of turf removed.  The incentive cannot exceed 100% of the cost of the project.  There are no minimum or maximum project size restrictions. 

Example of rebate calculation:

1,000 square feet of turf removed x $3.00          = $3,000
Cost of the project                                          = $3,200
Rebate calculated                = $3,000
1,000 square feet of turf removed x $3.00             = $3,000
Cost of the project            = $2,800
Rebate calculated                           = $2,800


What plants qualify for this rebate?
Only California-friendly, drought-tolerant plant species qualify for the Waterwise Landscape rebate. You can also
search a catalog of authorized plant species.

If you have questions, please call us at 951-826-5485.

Can I get a rebate for installing concrete?

No. Water must be able to seep through (permeate) new landscapes to be eligible for a rebate. While using concrete in your landscape design is not prohibited, the total square feet of concrete or other non-permeable surfaces used will be deducted from your total rebate amount.  The use of non-mortared bricks, pavers or flagstone may be utilized and will be included when determining the cost of the project.  

What do I need to do to get a rebate?

Program Eligibility Guidelines, Limitations, and Requirements:

Program Term

·         The term of this Program shall be from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, or when the approved program funding has been exhausted, whichever comes first.

·         Project must be completed, and all required documents must be received by Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), on or before May 1, 2015.

·         Upon RPU approval, extensions of time may be granted for project completion, but the entire project must be complete by May 15, 2015.


Program Funding, Existing Site Conditions

·         A Project for this Program is defined as the area where ornamental turf grass (lawn) will be replaced with a climate-appropriate landscape.  “Climate-appropriate” landscaping is generally described as drought tolerant and or Southern California native.  RPU has the discretion to determine if the replacement landscaping falls within this definition. 

Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis, up to the total project cost.  Eligible costs include design, applicable permitting, materials and installation.  No project shall be eligible for funding in excess of $3.00 per square foot.  Rebate cannot exceed 100% of the cost of the project.

Funding is NOT available from (Metropolitan Water District)  for any project in this Program.  Projects shall only receive funding from this Program.

There is no minimum or maximum square footage limitation for project size.

The turf grass to be removed must be actively growing and irrigated at the time of pre inspection.

Area eligible for  the rebate must be receiving potable water from an active RPU water service account.

Copies of itemized receipts and contracts are required to be submitted to RPU for the Project within 30 days of project completion or before May 15, 2015, whichever is sooner.

Property must be located within the City of Riverside and applicant must be a current RPU water customer, in good standing.

Notice to Proceed, Design, Construction, Permits

Written notice to proceed from RPU is required before turning off water or removing any turf grass.

Project designs must be pre-approved by RPU before proceeding.

Projects must be pre-inspected and measured by RPU.  A written notice to proceed will be issued after the property has been pre-inspected.

All projects are required to secure at least two project bids for all components of the landscape conversion (projects of 5,000 sq. ft. or less are not required to submit multiple bids).

All bid documents must be made available, if requested by RPU.

RPU staff may take photos of the project at any stage of conversion.

In exchange for the agreement of RPU to provide the funding, the property owner hereby agrees that any design material (plans, elevation drawings or any other renderings) or photos of the project may be posted on RPU’s website or used in future marketing materials.  Property owner agrees to allow RPU the use of photos and design materials.  Property owner further agrees to allow RPU to post signage on the property advertising the Program during turf replacement and plant establishment period. 

All existing overhead irrigation must be converted to low-flow (drip) irrigation.

Irrigation controllers must be replaced with or converted to ET (weather) based controllers.

Projects must be post-inspected by RPU following completion of the conversion.

Property owner will notify RPU a minimum of seven business days prior to project completion to allow for the scheduling of the completion inspection.

Miscellaneous Notifications/Requirements

Synthetic/artificial turf is not allowed in the Program.

Areas replaced with non-porous concrete, although not prohibited, are not eligible for funding under this Program.

At a minimum, 25 percent of the area of turf removed must be landscaped with climate-appropriate (drought tolerant) plants.

The landscape conversion must include a minimum of three inches of mulch between and beneath the plants.  Mulch is not required in areas of the project that incorporate decomposed granite, pavers, gravel or bark.

Still have questions? Give us a call at 951-826-5485 or send us an e-mail.

Program Guidelines

  • Program is subject to fund availability and may be cancelled or modified at any time.
  • This program is available to RPU commercial water customers only.
  • Landscape design must be submitted and pre-approved by RPU.
  • The landscape project must be completed within ninety (90) days of pre-inspection date in order to qualify for a rebate.
  • Customers can receive incentives of up to $3.00 per square foot of turf removed.  The incentive cannot exceed 100% of the cost of the project. 
  • A pre-installation and post-installation inspection is required for program compliance.
  • Before and after photos of the project will be taken by RPU inspectors during your pre and post inspection.
  • The program requires the installation of low water-use landscaping selected from the approved plant list. A minimum of 25% of the conversion area must be replanted.
  • The landscape conversion must include a minimum of three inches of mulch between and beneath the plants.  Mulch is not required in areas of the project that incorporated decomposed granite, pavers, gravel or bark.
  • Non-permeable materials are not permitted.
  • Existing irrigation must be converted to a low-volume drip irrigation system. Spray irrigation and plumbing is not permitted.
  • Program is subject to change without prior notification. Rebates are given on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to fund availability.
  • All General Program Guidelines apply. 
What Do I Need To Do?
Select the rebate programs of which you would like to participate:
Waterwise Landscape
Complete the application including all applicable receipts and mail to:
Riverside Public Utilities
Programs & Services

3750 University Avenue, 3rd Floor
Riverside, CA 92501
Download Application