Drought increases interest in EBMUD rebate program

Thursday, April 9, 2015
EBMUD rebates
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EBMUD offers rebates for water saving measures.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- The California Energy Commission voted Wednesday that faucets, toilets and urinals sold starting in 2016 will need to use less water than they currently do.

Governor Brown also began a meeting in Sacramento with top agriculture environmental and water agency leaders from across California to discuss ways the state can conserve.

There is an EBMUD program in the Bay Area that's been in place for years, but has recently become quite popular thanks to the drought.

EBMUD customers are now flocking for rebates the water district offers for those who rip out their lawns.

Walnut Creek resident Bud Cool decided it was time to bring his 60-year-old yard into the 21st century.

"With the drought, we decided we better try to shrink our lawn and try to use a better irrigation to reduce water," said Cool.

So cool hired a landscaper and started by ripping out a huge portion of his lawn. He replaced it with drought resistant plants, lay down 2 to 3 inches of mulch, and replace sprinklers with drip irrigation.

The project was reviewed by an EBMUD technician who signed off on the many changes Cool made.

"For the lawn conversion he needed to take out the lawn and replace it with a sustainable landscape that is drought tolerant. And he put in mulch which is also required because that keeps the soil moist," said EBMUD conservation technician Jessica Woodard.

"It's not just about the money is it? Oh no, no..."It's not about the money. That's probably the last thing. We're really scared about the water, so we're trying to do all we can there," said Cool.

EBMUD offers rebates of up to $2,500 for those who decide to do their part with their lawn and replace it with drought friendly alternatives.

For water rebate information from Bay Area water suppliers, click here. And click here for tips on how to conserve.

For full coverage on the drought, click here.