Lawn Conversion & Irrigation Rebates


Information changes, so we recommend that you check with to make sure everything is current.


Effective January 1, 2015

Reduce your water bill and earn rebates for one or more landscape and irrigation equipment upgrades.

Up to $2,500
Single- and Multi-Family (4 units or less) Residential

Up to $20,000
Commercial and Multi-Family (5 units or more)

Choose from a menu of cost-effective upgrades you can use to create low water use landscaping, improve irrigation efficiency, and lower your water bill:

  • Convert high water use lawns to sustainable landscaping.
  • Convert sprinklers to drip irrigation.
  • Replace conventional sprinkler nozzles with high-efficiency rotating nozzles.
  • Replace conventional irrigation timers with smart controllers.
  • Install pressure regulators to improve system performance.
  • Install submeters to improve leak detection and irrigation management.

The program is available to qualifying single-family homes, multi-family properties, and commercial and institutional landscape irrigators. Please note that rebates are not retroactive.

1. Lawn and Pool Conversions

Enhance the beauty and function of your outdoor spaces by converting lawn to sustainable landscaping . Lawn conversions are a great option for those hard-to-irrigate places that are small, narrow, curved, oddly shaped, and steep or in windy areas . Replacing a lawn can save you time, energy and money while using less water .

While lawns can be a good choice for recreation and sports, they use at least twice as much water as sustainable landscapes . Traditional lawns also require more maintenance, often using fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers .


Sustainable landscapes include plants suited to our local climate, drip irrigation, mulch, and permeable hardscape . Lawns can be converted using a technique called sheet mulching which decomposes a lawn in place and controls weeds with very little digging .


Qualifying conversions:

• Climate-appropriate plants that require little or no supplemental water once established* with a minimum of a three-inch mulch cover where horticulturally appropriate .

• A minimum of three inches of mulch covering bare soil after lawn removal .

• Lawns converted using sheet-mulching technique . See

• Permeable hardscape including pavers, bricks, flagstone or similar material set in sand; gravel or decomposed granite, and permeable decking .

• Vegetable gardens and fruit trees .
• Plants that are only watered by hand or with drip irrigation . • Pool removal .

Non-qualifying conversions:


  • Any plant that is not climate-appropriate* . 
  • Any plant that is classified as invasive by the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC) . The Cal-IPC maintains a searchable database of invasive plants: 
  • Non-biodegradable weed-block material . 
  • Any converted lawn area irrigated with overhead sprinklers . Exceptions may be granted where drip irrigation is not practical . 
  • Exposed soil surfaces, unless EBMUD approves a horticultural exception . 
  • Impervious paving . 
  • No-mow grass or similar . 
  • Artificial turf . 
  • Pool covers or removal of pools that are no longer functioning . 


Steps to Get a Rebate

EBMUD rebates are not retroactive and applicants are not eligible for rebate if their project is started for any reason prior to written approval . To qualify for a rebate, you must not start a project until your rebate application is approved by EBMUD, and you receive written authorization to start .

STEP 1: Decide which rebates you want to apply for

You may apply for one or more of the rebates .

If you are applying for a lawn, pool or drip conversion:

  • Sketch the shape of your lawn, pool and/or drip areas you wish to convert
    on a piece of paper, and attach to your application . 
  • Record accurate dimensions on your sketch . 
  • Calculate the square footage and record on the sketch and application .
    STEP 2: Complete and submit your application 
  • Complete page 1 of the application . 
  • Complete rebate checklists on the application form . Only complete sections that you are applying for. Leave other sections blank. 
  • Read the Terms and Conditions and sign the agreement . 
  • Submit application .
    STEP 3: Telephone interview prior to start of project 


  • EBMUD will contact you for a telephone interview to verify that you understand rebate terms and conditions, and to determine if a pre-inspection is needed . 
  • If approved, you will receive written authorization to proceed 
  • STEP 4: Complete your project

    • You will have 6 months from the date of approval to complete your project . 
    • Be sure to save original receipts or contractor’s itemized invoice for rebated equipment (note: not needed for lawn conversion) . 
    • Contact EBMUD to request a post-installation inspection prior to your 6-month deadline . 
    • Schedule and complete a post-installation inspection with an EBMUD representative . 


      Eligibility Terms and Conditions

      Rebate amounts and rates are shown on the enclosed

      application form.

      If you install your project in phases, you may apply for additional rebates as long as the combined maximum rebate amounts during any 24-month period do not exceed:

      • $2,500 for single-family and multi-family (4-units or less) residential accounts 
      • $20,000 per entity for commercial and multi-family accounts (five units or more).
        Rebates are issued as credits applied to the EBMUD water service account and may take up to eight weeks to process. All rebates are subject to availability of funds and the program may be changed or terminated without notice.
        All Rebates: 
      • Telephone interview and/or pre-inspection and written approval is required. 
      • Application form must be complete and signed by the property owner. Non-property owner applicants must obtain signature of property owner or owner’s agent. 
      • Converted and upgraded properties must be served by an active EBMUD water service account using potable outdoor irrigation water. 
      • Commercial mixed-use accounts with rebates larger than $2,500 must submeter all irrigation water use to qualify. (Mixed-use accounts serve both indoor and outdoor uses). Exceptions may be granted, solely at the District’s discretion, for accounts where submetering is infeasible. 
      • Conversions and installations must meet the qualifications described in this brochure and found online at 
      • Applicant must notify EBMUD of project completion within 6 months from the date the application was approved.
        Rebated equipment requirements: 
      • The application shall be postmarked or received by EBMUD within 90 days before or after equipment purchase date. Applicant may purchase equipment ahead of approval, but shall not start their project prior to written approval. 
      • Rebated equipment must be installed and inspected within 6 months after equipment purchase date on original receipt or contractor written itemized invoice. 
      • Original receipt or contractor’s itemized invoice for rebated equipment must be submitted at the final post-inspection. The original receipt must include the name of the store or contractor, purchase date, price and the make and model of the rebated equipment.
        Lawn and drip irrigation conversions: 
        • The same converted area may qualify for both lawn and drip irrigation conversion rebates. 
        • If you previously stopped watering your lawn, enough lawn must remain to verify lawn boundaries. 
        • Plants must be irrigated by hand or with drip irrigation, unless EBMUD approves an exception. 
        • Eligibility is not retroactive. Projects started prior to a telephone interview and written approval will not qualify for a rebate.