Water Conservation

Save Our Water Rebates


The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has a rebate program for removing turf and replacing it with landscapes that require little water at California single-family residences to support the State's drought response. For more information on the program's history, go to the DWR turf site.

The $24 million program budget is expected to support the conversion of more than 10 million square feet of turf, or approximately 20 percent of the statewide goal of 50 million square feet of turf. Up to $2 per square foot of removed and replaced turf will be rebated per eligible household. The total rebated amount, including any rebates the homeowner has already applied for from another agency, can't exceed a total of $2 per square foot.


The Department of Water Resources (DWR) has a rebate program that provides rebates for replacing toilets at California single-family residences to support the State's drought response.

The $6 million program budget is expected to support the replacement of 60,000 toilets throughout the state. Up to $100 will be rebated for purchase and installation of one qualified high-efficiency toilet (1.28 gallons per flush or less) per household that replaces a less-efficient toilet (using more than 1.6 gallons per flush).


The rebate process is simple. Here is how the process works:

1. Check the website to determine if funds are still available for the program.
2. Identify a qualified US Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense certified high-efficiency toilet (1.28 gallons per flush or less).
3. Purchase a toilet from the qualifying models list.
4. Complete the on-line toilet rebate application
5. Receive your rebate approval notice.
6. Receive your rebate check!


Water-efficient toilets, high-efficiency washing machines, rain water harvesting systems, and water-wise landscaping can all help reduce water use. Water-efficient showerheads and aerators for faucets cost only a few dollars and can cut your water usage in half with no reduction in performance. Leaking faucets and toilets can waste thousands of gallons of water monthly, and they are inexpensive to fix. In the summer, outdoor water use can account for 50 percent or more of total water use. A few small changes in your water-use habits can make a huge difference in water savings.

Practicing the tips outlined in this brochure could save up to 25,000 gallons per year for a family of four. This can amount to hundreds of dollars a year in water and wastewater costs.


  • Replace your showerhead with a water-efficient model. This saves as much as 6 gallons of water PER MINUTE.
  • Get in the shower right away after the water becomes hot enough.
  • Take short showers and wash hands using only as much water flow as you really need.
  • Take a shower instead of taking a bath. Showers with water-efficient showerheads often use less water than taking a bath.
  • Recycle your old toilet and replace it with a water efficient toilet. This saves as much as 5 gallons per flush.
  • Install a toilet displacement device. (Use a plastic bag or bottle filled with water to reduce the volume of water in the tank but still provide enough for flushing. Do not use bricks.)
  • Pay attention to those dripping sounds and fix the leak(s.)
  • Don't forget about those sneaky silent leaks. Add a few drops of food coloring or dye table to the water in the tank but do not flush the toilet. If the coloring appears in the bowl within a few minutes the toilet has a leak that needs to be repaired.
  • Never use the toilet to dispose of trash.
  • Don't waste water brushing your teeth. Shut off the water until it's time to rinse.
  • Don't waste water while shaving. Fill the sink with hot water instead of letting the water run continuously.


  • Only run the dishwasher with a full load. If your dishes are not very dirty, use the short wash cycle.
  • You can spend less money on water and energy by installing a high-efficiency dishwasher. High-efficiency dishwashers use about 6 to 10 gallons, or less, of water per load compared with 9 to 12 gallons per load for less efficient models.
  • Don't leave the water running when you aren't using it.
  • Install faucet aerators.
  • Don't ignore leaky faucets, they waste lots of water.
  • Dry scrape dishes instead of rinsing.
  • Garbage disposals can waste water unnecessarily. Try to compost scraps and left over food material.
  • Soak pans rather than scrubbing them while the water is running.
  • Rinse your vegetables in a pan of cold water, it doesn't take gallons of water to get the dirt off.
  • Don't overwater your house plants.
  • Collect rainwater or recycle water from fish tanks to water your plants.


  • Wash only full loads.
  • Buy a high-efficiency washer. They use at least 40 percent less water and energy as conventional washers.
  • If you must wash partial loads, match the load setting on the washing machine with the amount of laundry to be washed.
  • If your clothes are not heavily soiled, use the short wash cycle.
  • See our Application for "Laundry to Landscape (PDF)" graywater reuse


  • Don't over-water your lawn.
  • Don't abuse the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system by over-watering.
  • Check sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are working properly.
  • Install rain-shutoff devices and adjust sprinklers to eliminate coverage on pavement.
  • Prevent evaporation of water. Water lawns early in the morning or in the evening during the hotter summer months.
  • Never water on windy days.
  • Use drip irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees or shrubs and use low angle sprinklers for lawns.
  • Plant water-wise, well adapted and/or native shrubs, trees, and grass.
  • Harvest the rain. Buy a rain barrel or cistern and collect the water from your gutters to water your plants.
  • Don't waste water by cleaning patios or sidewalks with it, use a broom.
  • Taller grass holds moister better. Keep grass 2 inches tall during summer.
  • If you are washing your car at home, wash it on the lawn, use a bucket of soapy water and use a hose nozzle that shuts off the water while you scrub.


Be a water leak sleuth. Don't ignore leaking faucets; they are usually easy and inexpensive to repair. Find other uses for water rather than letting it go down the drain, such as watering houseplants with fish tank water.

 (Thank you Mendocino County Resource Conservation District’s Drought Page!)


City of Fort Bragg "Laundry to Landscape" Application for Graywater reuse (PDF)

Mendocino County’s Land Use page. Scroll to the middle for “Graywater Design”

4 WATER WISE Radio Broadcasts from KZYX August 2014

August 5th- Drought Landscaping and Drip Irrigation, guests include: Jim Xerogeanes Director of the Mendocino College Agriculture Department and Kris Loomis irrigation specialist for Wyatt Irrigation. Listen to a recording of the Aug 5th show by following this link: Drought Landscaping and Drip Irrigation

August 12th- Installing and Maintaining Greywater Systems. Guest: Anna Birkas of Village Ecosystems. Listen to a recording of the Aug 12th show by following this link: Installing and Maintaing Greywater Systems

August 19th- In-Home Water Conservation: Beyond the Short Shower. Strategies for leak detection, conducting your own home water use audit, and information about the newest water saving fixtures. Guests include: Deborah Edelman, from the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District and Adam Standlee, Plumbing department head from Friedman Bros. Home Improvement Store. Listen to a recording of the Aug 19th show by following this link: In-Home Water Conservation

August 26th- Harvesting Rainwater, guest: Brad Lancaster, author of two volume set “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond”. Listen to a recording of the Aug 26th show by following this link: Rainwater Harvesting