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Waterwise Landscape Rebate


Thank you for your interest in our Waterwise Landscape Rebate Program.  Public interest in turf removal rebates has been overwhelming and, as a result, funds available for such rebates are nearly gone. 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.

 For turf removal customers, the following are effective May 12, 2015:

·       Customers may continue to call for pre-approvals, but inspections will not resume till after May 27th, 2015.  Approval of reservations requests will be on a first-come first-serve basis and subject to funding availability.

·        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.

·         Please check this website after May 26th for the most up-to-date program information.

The Waterwise Landscape Rebate Program provides incentives for Riverside Public Utilities' 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.

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 $2.00 per square foot of turf removed. The incentive cannot exceed 100% of the cost of the project. There are no maximum project size restrictions.  Example of rebate calculation:

1000 square feet of turf removed x $2.00 = $2,000
Cost of the project= $2,200
Rebate calculated= $2,000

1000 square feet of turf removed x $2.00= $2,000
Cost of the project= $1,800
Rebate calculated= $1,800

What areas of my yard will qualify for a rebate?

The Waterwise Landscape Program is designed to encourage customers to remove an existing living and irrigated lawn and replace it with a California-friendly, water efficient and drought-tolerant  landscape.  To qualify, you must currently have living irrigated grass in your yard.  This program will only calculate rebates on the area of grass removed. Other forms of ground cover or foliage will not be calculated in terms of area of grass removed.

How to measure turf areas:

Use this helpful guide to find out how to accurately measure your existing turf areas.

Design Requirements

  • A landscape design must be submitted at the time of the pre-approval site inspection by RPU.
  •  A professionally-drawn design is eligible to be included in project cost. 
  • However, a professionally-drawn design is NOT required.  A hand-drawn design by your typical homeowner, using simple icons to represent landscape elements, such as circles for bushes, trees, and shrubs may be submitted.  The landscape design must show enough detail to illustrate the overall design of the project.
  • The landscape design must include the following:

    1.     Street address of the landscape conversion.

    2.     Dimensions of your landscape conversion in relation to large, existing features such as the street, sidewalk, driveway, home, etc.

    3.     A list of the plant palette to be installed, including the plant size at maturity and their locations (bushes, shrubs, trees, etc.) that will cover at least 25% to 50% of the landscape conversion area.

    4.     Location and dimensions of new permeable hardscape areas to be installed such as pavers, brick, flagstone, etc. set on a bed of sand, in which no mortar or grout will be used.

    5.       Location and dimensions of new non-permeable hardscape areas to be installed in place of turf such as patios, walkways, retaining walls, etc.  (These areas will be subtracted from the reimbursable portion of your landscape conversion.)

    6.     Dimensions of turf anticipated to be removed.

To see an example of a landscape design that meets the design requirement, please click here.

For assistance is creating a landscape design and plan, please click here.  If you have questions, please call us at 951-826-5485.

To view photographs of some beautiful landscapes that may give you some inspiration and assist you with your design, click here.

What plants qualify for this rebate?

Only California-friendly, drought-tolerant plant species qualify for the Waterwise Landscape rebate. Click here to 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. Landscape fabric that allows water to penetrate into the ground must also be used. 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.

What do I need to do to receive a rebate?

First, call RPU at 951-826-5485 to schedule a pre-installation inspection to see if you qualify. Next, complete the Waterwise Landscape project. Finally, submit Waterwise Landscape Rebate Program application and attach your original dated sales receipt(s) and mail to:

Riverside Public Utilities Programs & Services
3750 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92501

Upon receipt, a post-installation inspection will be scheduled before the rebate is issued.

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 at any time.

·         This program is available to RPU residential water customers.

·         To qualify, you must currently have living irrigated grass in your yard.

·         All sites must be inspected and approved by RPU to determine eligibility.

·         A landscape design plan must be submitted at the time of the pre-approval site inspection with RPU.  Customers must receive final approval on landscape design prior to starting project.  If you begin work on your landscape project before your design is approved by RPU, you may forfeit your rebate.

·         RPU customers may use both the Water Wise Landscape Program and the Artificial Turf Program in combination with the same landscape project.  However, RPU will only pay the applicable rebate amount for the respective square footage completed under the guidelines of each program. 

·         Application must be submitted and pre-approved by RPU. Project must be completed within ninety (90) days of pre-inspection date in order to qualify for a rebate.

·         Customers can receive incentives of $2.00 per square foot of turf removed or up to 100% of the project’s cost, whichever is lower. A  minimum of 500 square feet is required to be removed for program qualification.  

·         Before and after photos of the project must be submitted with your application to receive your rebate.

·         Landscaping is subject to inspection for program compliance. Failure to comply may forfeit rebate.

·         The customer must install low water-use landscaping selected from the approved plant list. A minimum of 25% of the conversion area must be planted.

·         The landscape conversion must include a minimum of two inches of mulch between and beneath the plants.

·         Landscape fabric that allows water to penetrate the ground must be used. Non-permeable materials such as concrete or mortared bricks are not permitted.

·         Existing irrigation lines must be removed and replaced by a low-volume drip irrigation system. Spray irrigation and plumbing is not permitted.

·         Please allow 8-12 weeks for processing.

·         Program 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