Residents can take advantage of savings on a variety of water-saving technologies such as high-efficiency clothes washers and toilets, rain barrels and irrigation nozzles. Residents can schedule free Water Use Surveys to make their properties more water-efficient.

Rebate funding levels are comprised of a base rebate provided by Metropolitan Water District and, if available, additional funding by participating water agencies. Use the Estimate Your Rebate tool to get an estimated rebate amount based on your eligibility and available funding at the exact time the estimate is provided.

Direct Install Toilets for Income Qualifying Residents

The San Diego County Water Authority has secured $3 million in grant funds to install water-efficient toilets and smart irrigation controllers in underrepresented communities across the region, bolstering the agency’s long-running efforts to enhance water affordability.

High-Efficiency Washers

SoCal WaterSmart

Southern California residents may qualify for rebates starting at $85 for the purchase of a high-efficiency clothes washer from a list of qualified products through SoCal WaterSmart. An additional rebate may be available from San Diego Gas & Electric.  

Energy Star

Clothes washing is among the most water-intensive activities inside a typical home. High-efficiency clothes washers use 40 percent less water and 25 percent less energy than conventional clothes washers, according to the U.S. EPA’s Energy Star Program. The water savings for each home may be as much as 3,000 gallons per year. High-efficiency washers also save energy by using more efficient motors, requiring less hot water and reducing the drying time needed for clothes.

Premium High-Efficiency Toilets

The SoCal WaterSmart program provides financial incentives for toilets that use less than 1.1 gallon per flush, along with Premium High-Efficiency Toilets. Eligible toilets must replace existing toilets using 1.6 gallons per flush or more. Qualifying toilets must be from the list of approved models. Rebates start at $40 per toilet.

Toilets are by far the largest source of water use inside most homes, accounting for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. Recent advances have allowed toilets to use 1.1 gallons per flush or less without reduced performance. Water savings from high-efficiency toilets can save more than $800 on water bills over the lifetime of the product.

Rain Barrels

SoCal WaterSmart

The SoCal WaterSmart program provides financial incentives for purchasing rain barrels or cisterns, which collect water from gutters and downspouts for use on landscapes. They also reduce the amount of water flowing into storm drains. Homeowners can get rebates of up to $35 each on residential rain barrels (up to 2 per home) or $250-$350 for a cistern, depending on capacity.

County of San Diego

Install a rain barrel or cistern to save rainwater for future use. Residents of the unincorporated areas of San Diego County may be eligible for rebates on rain barrels and cisterns as well as other rain-saving features that harvest and reuse rain water for irrigation. Learn more about available rebates through the County of San Diego Waterscape Rebate Program.

City of San Diego

 City of San Diego customers may be eligible for the city’s Residential Rainwater Harvesting (Rain Barrel) Rebate Pilot Program, which has its own application process and qualification criteria.

Solana Center

In addition, the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation offers discounted rain barrels that are eligible for rebates at Rainwater – Catch It San Diego!  Rain barrels can also be found at local home improvement stores, nurseries and specialty stores.

Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles

Rotating sprinkler nozzles use 20 percent less water than conventional spray heads by applying water more slowly and uniformly. This prevents misting and overwatering. It also encourages healthy plant growth. SoCal WaterSmart offers rebates starting at $2 per rotating nozzle for residential properties. A minimum of 15 nozzles must be purchased.

Soil Moisture Sensor Systems

Soil moisture sensors measure soil moisture content in the active root zone. Systems eligible for SoCal WaterSmart 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 residential sites over 1 acre.

Turf Replacement Program

Turf replacement rebates start at $2 per square foot. Starting March 4, 2024, an additional $1 per square foot is available for a total of $3 per square foot. Funds are limited, so apply quickly. Use the Estimate Your Rebate tool to get an estimated rebate amount based on the available funding at that date and time. An estimate is not a guaranteed amount. Once the application is submitted and approved, an email is sent to the customer providing the actual rebate amount to be received. The $2 rebate is provided by Metropolitan Water District and additional funds is provided by participating agencies and/or grants. Past participation may limit eligibility. Program funding is limited and rebate amounts are subject to change without notice.

Tree Rebate Program

Starting March 4, 2024, residents can apply for the Tree Rebate program, which provides a $100 rebate per tree (up to five trees planted) for any new turf removal project. One tree can take the place of three plants. Must plant 15 gallon trees or larger. Must provide receipt with rebate to get reimbursed. Program funding is limited and rebate amounts are subject to change without notice.

County of San Diego

Residents of the unincorporated areas of San Diego County may be eligible for rebates to replace turf with drought-tolerant landscaping and a rain-saving landscape feature. Learn more about available rebates through the County of San Diego Waterscape Rebate Program.

Water Efficient Landscapers

Find a Trained Landscaper

Trained in water-wise landscape principles, including soil, irrigation scheduling, and plant selection, a certified graduate will help you transform and maintain your landscape. Find a trained professional in your area:

Free Training for Your Landscaper or HOA

The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) and Metropolitan Water District of Southern California offer a one-of-a-kind certification and educational opportunity for landscape professionals in Southern California.

This joint effort combines the CLCA Water Management Certification Program with the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) program to offer the landscape industry an opportunity to obtain two nationally recognized EPA WaterSense Professional Certifications with one course and one written test.

Presented in three six-hour classes, these workshops are free and available only to those in select counties of Southern California within the Metropolitan Water District’s service area, including San Diego. Learn more:

Water Use Surveys

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

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)

Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers

Weather-based irrigation controllers can reduce water use outdoors. Unlike standard timers that turn on sprinklers at set intervals, “smart” controllers use weather data and site information such as plant type and sprinkler system output to adjust watering times and frequency. Professional installation is recommended because proper set-up usually requires knowledge of soils, precipitation rates, slope and other landscape characteristics.

Incentives from SoCal WaterSmart start at $80 per controller for residential sites with less than one acre of landscaping. For larger residential sites, incentives start at $35 per station. Rebates cannot exceed the purchase price of the controllers.

Want to learn more, dig deeper?

download this documentResidential Rebates Fact Sheet