Saving water and money

Short Title
Saving water and money
Last chance for point-of-purchase voucher discounts 
Water Authority announces shift to rebates July 1
May 23, 2008

Point-of-purchase vouchers currently offered by the San Diego County Water Authority and its member agencies to reduce out-of-pocket cost when purchasing water-efficient equipment will only be honored until June 30. Beginning July 1, customers will use rebate applications to receive incentive discounts.

The change applies to single-family, multifamily, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties that purchase authorized indoor water-saving products, ranging from toilets and urinals to HVAC system pH conductivity controllers and clothes washers.

Single-family homeowners who purchase irrigation efficiency with smart controllers, rotating irrigation nozzles, and artificial turf are also affected.

“We’re continuing our commitment to help residents and businesses increase their water efficiency,” says Toby Roy, Water Resources Manager of the Water Authority. “We’ll be joining the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s rebate programs on July 1, which will increase the amount of funding available in San Diego County.”

An exception to the June 30 deadline is the Water Authority’s vouchers for smart irrigation controllers offered to multifamily, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties. These water customers may continue to request and use the point-of-purchase voucher discount.

Additional information is available by calling 1-800-986-4538, or online at www.20gallonchallenge.com.

Qualifying Devices 
Restrooms, commercial kitchens, and HVAC systems are prime candidates for reducing water-related expenses through the installation of water-saving technologies and equipment.

Toilets and urinals that reduce water use by more than 60 % qualify for incentives ranging from $135 to $400 per fixture, says Roy.

Cooling tower conductivity controllers that automate and maintain pH levels can save thousands of dollars per year in reduced water and energy expenses with incentives worth up to $1,900 to help offset the purchase price.

In commercial kitchens, pre-rinse spray valves used in dishwashing are a great source of energy and water savings. According to the Water Authority, the $60 incentive should cover the full cost of new, water-efficient models.

Conservation Works 
Conservation efforts at homes and businesses provide the region’s least expensive source of additional water supply. The Water Authority is counting on conservation to significantly reduce imported water demand by approximately 108,000 acre-feet in 2008. The goal includes savings from its 20 Gallon Challenge campaign.

Currently, conservation accounts for 7 percent of the Water Authority’s water supply, and it is expected to increase to 11 percent by 2020. The Water Authority’s 20 Gallon Challenge campaign is helping reach the goal. 


“Using water efficiently must be a permanent and increasing way of life for everyone in the San Diego region,” said Roy. “Last year, conservation savings in the Water Authority’s service area totaled over 17 billion gallons,” she adds. 


The Water Authority has offered conservation incentives for 16 years and counts more than 526,200 acre-feet of water saved. It credits the replacement of water-guzzling fixtures like toilets, urinals, and clothes washers with the year-to-year savings critical to the region.

Water Supply Challenges 
Up to ninety percent of San Diego County’s water supply is imported either from the Colorado River or from the Bay-Delta through the State Water Project. These supplies have been cut.

Court-ordered restrictions on pumping operations in the Bay-Delta in Northern California have reduced water deliveries to Southern California and are rapidly depleting storage reserves across the state.

These restrictions, coupled with continuing dry conditions this year on the State Water Project, as well as reduced storage levels on the Colorado River caused by eight years of drought; make it imperative for all of us to save water.

To learn more about the region’s water supply challenges, visit www.20gallonchallenge.com.

Irrigation Incentives
The region’s irrigation appetite accounts for more than 60% of water use and is a focus for efficiency improvements.

To tally up irrigation savings, residential property owners are encouraged take advantage of incentives for smart controllers, rotating nozzles, and artificial turf. Commercial and multifamily sites are also eligible for artificial turf incentives.

Ongoing maintenance and water expense savings are significant when properties trade turf for more water-efficient landscapes or artificial turf. And rebates starting at $.50 per square foot of artificial turf are on the Water Authority’s incentives list.

Are you eligible? 
Although some restrictions and limitations may apply, incentives are generally available for customers of the following participating water agencies: Carlsbad Municipal Water District, City of Del Mar, City of Escondido, Fallbrook Public Utility District , Helix Water District, Lakeside Water District, City of Oceanside, Olivenhain Municipal Water District, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, City of Poway, Rainbow Municipal Water District, Ramona Municipal Water District, Rincon del Diablo Municipal Water District, City of San Diego, San Dieguito Water District, Santa Fe Irrigation District, Sweetwater Authority, Vallecitos Water District, Valley Center Municipal Water District, Vista Irrigation District, and Yuima Municipal Water District.

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