commercial building with water efficient landscaping

From free on-farm irrigation assessments of irrigation water to incentives for converting industrial water systems to recycled water service, there are numerous opportunities to improve water efficiency at commercial properties.

Waterscape Rebate Program

The San Diego County Water Authority has partnered with the County of San Diego Watershed Protection Program to provide residents and businesses in unincorporated San Diego County with new and enhanced rebates.

With the Waterscape Rebate Program, property owners can receive financial incentives to: 

  • Replace high-water use turf with watersmart, native plants 
  • Install weather-based irrigation controllers 
  • Install a rain barrel, rain cistern, rain garden, or other rain-saving feature 
  • Install rain gutters
  • Upgrade old driveways and parking lots with pavers or porous pavement 
  • Pump your septic tank and prevent costly repairs 
  • Transform large turf areas with water-wise landscaping (minimum of 10,000 sq. ft. of turf) (Commercial properties only)
  • Install irrigation upgrades recommended by an expert during a free Agricultural Irrigation Efficiency evaluation (Agricultural properties only)

On-Site Retrofit Program

The Metropolitan Water District’s (MWD) On-Site Retrofit Program provides financial incentives to public or private property owners to convert potable water irrigation or industrial water systems to recycled water service. Incentives of up to $195 per acre-foot for 10 years of estimated water use are available, with a cap at the actual retrofit costs. Items eligible for incentives include project design; permitting; construction costs associated with the retrofit of potable to recycled water systems; connection fees and required recycled water signage.

Premium High-Efficiency Toilets

Rebates start at $40 for premium high-efficiency toilets that use less than 1.1 gallons per flush from a list of qualified products through SoCal Water$mart. These toilets use almost 20 percent less water than the current WaterSense standard. Eligible toilets must replace existing toilets using at least 1.6 gallons per flush and have a matching bowl and tank.

Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Training

The Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Training (QWEL) program is an affordable, local training providing landscape professionals with 20 hours of education on principles of proper plant selection for the local climate, irrigation system design and maintenance, and irrigation system programming and operation. In order to obtain the QWEL certificate, an individual must demonstrate their ability to perform an irrigation system audit and pass the QWEL exam. QWEL was developed by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership and brought to San Diego by the San Diego County Water Authority and its 24 member agencies.

Soil Moisture Sensor Systems

Soil moisture sensors measure soil moisture content in the active root zone. Systems eligible for SoCal Water$mart rebates must include a sensor and a calibrator (typically packaged in the same device) and an irrigation controller. Rebates start at $80, or $35 per irrigation sensor for large commercial sites.

Water Savings Incentive Program

The SoCal Water$mart Commercial Water Savings Incentive Program is open to commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural and large-landscape customers with qualifying projects in the Water Authority’s service area.  It provides financial incentives to non-residential customers for customized water-efficiency projects including:

  • Installation of commercial or industrial high-efficiency equipment
  • Industrial process improvements
  • Agricultural and landscape water-efficiency improvements
  • Water management services

WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program

The WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program (WSCIP) offers four incentivized water-efficient devices — smart irrigation controllers, high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles, flow sensors and drip irrigation. The program is for commercial, industrial, institutional and  agricultural sites, including HOAs. Participating landscapes must have at least one irrigated acre.

WaterSmart Irrigation Checkup

Certified landscape irrigation auditors provide free, on-site inspections and written site-specific water-saving recommendations for qualifying commercial properties in the Water Authority’s service area. Business owners choose what ideas to implement; water savings can exceed 20 percent from WaterSmart Checkups.

Want to learn more, dig deeper?

download this documentCommercial Rebates Fact Sheet download this documentWaterSmart Fact Sheet