Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Thursday that the Santa Barbara County Water Agency and participating local water purveyors within Santa Barbara County received $179,000 from the Bureau of Reclamation to offer rebates to non-agricultural customers who undergo a variety of landscape-related water efficiency upgrades.
The WaterWise Landscape Rebate Program is expected to result in annual water savings of 121 acre-feet in Santa Barbara County, or more than 39 million gallons of water. Landscape-related water efficiency upgrades include turf removal and installation of high-efficiency landscape irrigation.
The project is one of 36 projects in the western United States to receive funding and is the latest federal government action to address the impacts of wildfires and the drought. The grants are part of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s WaterSMART Program, which chooses projects through a competitive process.
“With California experiencing a record drought, we must all do our part to conserve water,” Capps said. “Important advances in science and technology have made water efficiency upgrades more accessible and affordable for residents, and this rebate program will encourage even more residents to participate, saving them money and saving the county water.”
“This program will help focus on water use efficiencies in residential landscape areas,” said Tom Fayram, the county’s deputy public works director. “Outside landscape irrigation accounts for the highest water use in a typical residential home.”
The water conserved through the project will remain in local surface water reservoirs or local groundwater basins, which in turn reduces pressure on local and statewide water supplies, providing a buffer during times of drought.
The county Water Agency will coordinate the overall grant program and will pass-through the federal monies as matching funds for the local water purveyors’ rebates to their customers. The local water purveyors participating in this two-year program are: Goleta Water District, Carpinteria Valley Water District, Vandenberg Village Community Services District, and the cities of Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Buellton and Solvang.
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.