Southern Nevada Water Authority: Water Smart Landscapes Rebates to Double in 2007

To help the community achieve long-range water conservation goals recommended by a citizens' advisory committee, the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) Board of Directors has approved a one-year increase in its Water Smart Landscapes (WSL) Rebate Program.

Under the revised program, announced on Dec. 7, qualified residents currently enrolled in the program or those who enroll through calendar year 2007 will receive $2 per square foot of turf converted, up to 1,500 square feet. The incentive for areas in excess of 1,500 square feet will remain at the current $1 per square foot rate.

"While the community's overall response to the Water Smart Landscapes Rebate Program has been phenomenal and earned national recognition, we believe that increasing the incentive will spur even greater participation," said SNWA General Manager Pat Mulroy.

The increased WSL incentive is consistent with on the recommendations of the Integrated Water Advisory Planning Committee (IWPAC), a citizens' panel that urged the SNWA to continue its aggressive water conservation efforts. The SNWA Board in April 2006 adopted a series of IWPAC recommendations concerning water conservation and integration of in-state water resources into Southern Nevada's water planning and management activities.

The SNWA Board last increased the WSL rebate in February 2003, when it approved a hike from the program's original 40 cents per square foot to $1. That increase generated a large response in 2004, when the community converted more than 34 million square feet of turf.

However, program participation has steadily declined over the past two years, to about 15.3 million square feet in 2005 and 8.3 million square feet in 2006.

Since the WSL program's inception in 1999, community residents and businesses have converted more than 76 million square feet of turf to water-smart landscaping, saving more than 12.3 billion gallons of water.

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