Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Watering Rules Take Effect; Turf Replacement Rebates Now Available

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With the statewide drought in its fourth year, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer  announced that $1.2 million in turf replacement rebates are available for San Diego residents beginning today, July 1, 2015, as the City implements new water-use restrictions in response to the state-mandated water reduction target.

“The best way to conserve is to reduce watering outdoors or take advantage of rebates to replace your lawn with drought tolerant landscaping,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’re all in this together. It’s time to change the way we think about water. Let’s conserve today for a better tomorrow.”

Outdoor irrigation accounts more than 50 percent of residential water use, so it represents the most effective way to reduce water consumption and meet the state mandate for the City to lower its overall water use by 16 percent. To meet that target, the City is taking several steps, including:
  • Restarting the Turf Replacement Rebate Program
  • Limiting outdoor watering for residents and businesses to only two assigned days per week
  • Significantly reducing the potable water use in the Park and Recreation Department

The City’s immensely popular Turf Replacement Rebate Program restarts July 1. It provides rebates to residents who invest in replacing their water inefficient turf with native or drought resistant landscaping. Mayor Faulconer has set aside $1.2 million for the program for the new fiscal year. Residents are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because the funds for the last round of rebates lasted about a week.

To learn more about water conservation rebates and services, visit

On Monday, the City Council unanimously approved a new water-use restriction for residences and businesses that goes into effect today, July 1. It limits outdoor watering to two days a week for five minutes at each irrigation station. The City had previously limited watering of lawns to three days a week. The chart above shows the assigned watering days based on address and type of residence.

In addition, the Park and Recreation Department – the largest water user in City government – has implemented several new measures to significantly lower its use of potable water. They include:

  • Reducing irrigation to two times a week for passive turf areas within parks – such as well-utilized areas around picnic areas, playgrounds and athletic fields – as well as shrub areas.
  • Eliminating the use of potable water for irrigation in dog off-leash areas and turf medians except as needed to preserve trees
  • Utilizing drought tolerant landscaping for new parks
  • Exploring ways to save water at recreation centers, comfort stations, pools and showers

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