May 8th, 2015 at 8:30 am

Santa Barbara water rebates

The water shortage in California has reached crisis status. Gov. Jerry Brown recently took the unprecedented step of ordering mandatory water restrictions to achieve a 25 percent reduction in urban water usages throughout the state. With California’s hottest and driest months ahead, we all need to do our part to ensure that we have enough water to drink, fight fires, and irrigate the crops that bring in billions of dollars to the state. Unfortunately, while water demand rises, supply continues to shrink.

Therefore, municipal governments throughout the state are stepping up to help residents find new, innovative, and cost-effective ways to reduce water consumption in non-disruptive ways. Industry, agriculture, and population place significant strains on the water reserves.

The Santa Barbara County Water Agency coordinates many residential and commercial water-conservation efforts through its website. This site is one of many programs sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Water Providers network. These programs provide a strategy of helpful rebates for technological solutions that will help balance the needs of everyone.

The county also offers home gardeners free mulch, which retains water in the soil, and reduces weed growth. Self-pickup and onsite delivery are offered, with a fee for larger loads.

The WaterWise rebates vary by city and conservation type. The city of Santa Barbara’s are typical, including rebates for landscaping and irrigation, pool covers, and high-efficiency washing machines. Free rain sensors for existing irrigation controllers are offered when you get a free water checkup, and vouchers for up to 25 free water-efficient sprinkler nozzles also are part of the program.

City of Lompoc water customers qualify for a $50 rebate for each rain barrel they purchase, and another rebate for replacing turf with low-water-usage plants, rocks, mulch, or synthetic turf.

Click the following links for details on each city in the program.

Keeping California blue is a job that no one can do alone. It will take a concerted effort on all of our parts to ensure that our state has the water we need to remain golden. Take advantage of these tips, incentives, and rebates, and our water savings will certainly add up to more than a drop in the bucket.

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