DISTRICT LAUNCHES WATER EFFICIENT LANDSCAPE REBATE Participants will receive up to $2 for each square foot of grass replaced with water-efficient landscaping
St. George, UT | December 08, 2022 10:34 AM Mountain Standard Time
The Washington County Water Conservancy District has launched its new Water Efficient Landscape Rebate, which will pay home and business owners up to $2 per square foot to replace grass with water-efficient landscaping.
In Washington County, water-efficient landscapes use approximately nine gallons of water per square foot annually compared to 37 gallons for grass.
“We’re a rapidly growing desert community with one water source that is experiencing the same drought plaguing most of the southwest,” said Zach Renstrom, general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District. “Incorporating more sustainable landscapes throughout our community is essential to extend our limited water supply.”
The Water Efficient Landscape rebate comes on the heels of Washington County municipalities adopting Utah’s most restrictive ordinances for new construction. The ordinances ban non-functional grass in commercial, institutional and industrial developments and limit grass at new homes.
The ordinances also require the use of secondary water and reuse for outdoor irrigation where available. Washington County currently uses secondary and reuse water to irrigate parks, schools, golf courses, city-owned facilities and some residential neighborhoods. The district is developing a regional reuse system in partnership with its municipal customers that will significantly enhance the availability of reuse water.
Washington County’s conservation efforts were recently applauded by Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox who commended the district for its long-term conservation measures in consideration of growth and drought. “Washington County has signaled its commitment to be on the forefront of meaningful water conservation in the West,” said Cox.
Details and an application for the Water Efficient Landscape Rebate are available online at wcwcd.org. Participants will receive $2 per square foot for the first 5,000 square feet and $1 per square foot thereafter up to $50,000 on an annual per-property basis. Projects must be pre-approved prior to the conversion and located within a city served by the Washington County Water Conservancy District that has adopted qualifying conservation ordinances. Eligible cities currently include St. George, Washington, Santa Clara, Ivins and La Verkin. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Washington County is Utah’s hottest, driest and fastest-growing region. The county’s population is projected to more than double by 2050. All major population centers are currently dependent on a single water source, the Virgin River Basin, which is reaching its full development capacity. The basin has been in drought conditions 16 of the last 20 years and water supply levels at local reservoirs are decreasing.
The county’s long-term water supply plan includes additional water conservation and reuse, local source optimization and new resource development. Washington County has already reduced its per capita water use more than 30% since 2000 – the greatest reduction in water use in Utah – and is planning for an additional 14% reduction by 2030, using 2015 as the baseline year.
About Washington County Water Conservancy District
The Washington County Water Conservancy District is a not-for-profit public agency that oversees water resources in Washington County, UT. Visit wcwcd.org for more information.
Washington County Water Conservancy District
Karry Rathje, Communications & Govt Affairs Manager