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Last Updated: Nov 1, 2014

Water Conservation - Residential

MyWater Online Customer Information
Did you receive a Home Water Report in the mail?
Log in to MyWater to access your online home profile and detailed water use information.

Water Conservation
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) partners with the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) to offer free services and rebates so you can enjoy, protect and use water wisely. For more information about water and energy savings and to request free water efficiency devices such as showerheads, shower timers, faucet aerators and toilet leak detection tablets, please contact us at (650) 329-2241 or cpauresidential@cityofpaloalto.org

Join our mailing list for updates on programs, rebates and workshops.

Residential customers see below, commercial customers
click here

Jump to Programs:
Water-Wise House Call
Landscape Rebate
High-Efficiency Toilet
High-Efficiency Clothes Washer
Graywater Rebate
New Construction
Events and Workshops
Additional Resources
Local Water Supply Information

Water Efficiency Rebate Amounts have Increased!
For a short term only, some rebate amounts for water efficiency programs have been increased to encourage further water use reductions during drought conditions. These increased rebates are available through December 31, 2014 and certain restrictions apply. Apply today to take advantage of this great offer!

City of Palo Alto Utilities Receives the Silicon Valley Water Conservation Award!
These awards recognize groups and individuals whose programs and leadership have advanced water conservation in Silicon Valley. Palo Alto is being recognized for having one of the most outstanding water efficiency programs in the State. The enthusiastic participation of our residents and businesses in our programs is the big reason for their success---so thank you all!

California's Water Conditions
In many areas of California, the year 2013 ended with the lowest rainfall amounts on record. Recent Sierra Nevada snowpack surveys indicate that 2014 is shaping up to be a challenging water supply year. While there is still the potential for seasonal rains to avoid drought conditions--the Sierras typically get most of their snowpack in January and February--each dry day reminds us even more of the importance to use water wisely.

We will update this website regularly with Palo Alto's current water supply status, but meanwhile, now is a good time to take actions to make your home and garden as water wise as possible. Luckily, there are many ways to do that while still maintaining a comfortable lifestyle and beautiful landscape.


Your water makes an amazing journey. See how we can enjoy it from source to end use in this short video that reminds us to protect and use it wisely.
Palo Alto water - enjoy it, protect it and use it wisely. 

Water Conservation Programs for Residents

Water-Wise House Call Program

Get a free indoor and outdoor water survey of your home or apartment. Trained surveyors will review your water use, provide low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and toilet flappers (if needed) free of charge, and make site-specific recommendations for water efficiency, including suggested changes to your landscape irrigation schedule. Participation may pre-qualify you for other water conservation rebates. See how easily you can save water and money with free water-wise devices.

Water-Wise House Calls are available Monday through Saturday during daylight hours. Call (800) 548-1882 to schedule an appointment or
submit an online request.

Landscape Rebate Program - Temporary Increase in Rebate Funding!

Water-wise landscapes save water, time and money. Watch our short video. Apply for rebates when you convert lawn to a low-water use landscape design. For a short time only, Palo Alto residents are eligible for rebates of up to $4 per square foot of turf grass removed and replaced with qualifying materials. Converted landscape areas must be covered by at least 50% with approved plants. Irrigation systems, if used within the converted area, must be low-volume drip, micro spray or bubbler. 

This increased rebate amount is only available until December 31, 2014 and certain restrictions apply. Now is a great time to tackle your landscape project and take advantage of this limited offer.

View
sample water-wise landscapes and specific plants in this interactive picture gallery to generate ideas for your own low water use landscape design.

Call the SCVWD Water Conservation Hotline at (408) 630-2554 or schedule a Water-Wise House Call for rebate pre-approval prior to beginning a project.
Sign up online for a Water-Wise House Call or call (800) 548-1882.

Additional rebates have increased for most of the following landscape irrigation hardware:

  • Weather-based irrigation controllers
  • Rain sensors
  • High-efficiency nozzles
  • Rotary sprinklers or spray bodies with pressure regulation and/or check valves
  • Dedicated landscape meter
  • Flow sensors and hydrometers

Irrigation hardware rebate amounts vary based upon the project materials and cost.

Remember to ALWAYS call before you dig! Dial 811 for Underground Service Alert (USA) at least 48 hours before you or your excavator begins digging to ensure it is safe. Learn more about gas utility safety information.

Read more details on the Landscape Rebate Program.

High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) Rebate Program

Rebates of up to $125 are available for replacing inefficient toilets with qualifying PREMIUM model High-Efficiency Toilets (HET) which are WaterSense certified, flush at 1.06 gallons per flush (gpf) or less and achieve a MaP flush performance score of at least 600 grams of waste removed in a single flush.

Rebates of up to $50 are available for installing a WaterSense certified HET that has been MaP tested and flushes at 1.28 gpf or less.

The HET category includes both single and dual-flush fixtures. Rebates are approved for toilets that have not previously been replaced or rebated through a similar program.

For applications and more information, please call (877) 874-8479 or visit the SCVWD HET webpage. Learn about it in this short video.

View the full list of WaterSense certified products. MaP stands for the Maximum Performance scale that rates toilet efficiency and flush performance and gives detailed information on individual toilet characteristics. Learn more about the MaP testing.

High-Efficiency Clothes Washer Rebate Program

Palo Alto residents can receive up to a $125 rebate for purchasing an approved high-efficiency clothes washer. Apply online or download an application from the Smart Energy Rebate Program. Qualifying clothes washers include CEE Tier 3 models and Energy Star Most Efficient designated models. Any model that uses silver-ion technology DOES NOT qualify for this rebate.

Laundry to Landscape Graywater Rebate Program - Temporary Increase in Rebate Funding!

Rebates of up to $200 are available for residents who properly connect a clothes washer to a graywater irrigation system. In a “Laundry to Landscape” graywater system, there is no alteration to the plumbing or sewer system. Specific program requirements apply. Visit the SCVWD webpage for rebate program guidelines and detailed information on installation requirements.

Download or view this list of resources and frequently asked questions about laundry to landscape graywater systems.

View the presentation from our hands-on workshop on September 25, 2014.

New Construction Rebate

Building a new home or renovating yours? Build efficiently and get paid to do so! CPAU offers rebates when your home new construction project exceeds Title 24 energy standards by at least 20%. Learn more about the City's Green Building Program.

Events and Workshops

Throughout the year, the City offers free workshops on sustainable landscaping, composting, home graywater and other efficiency strategies, safe pest management, tours of the Palo Alto EcoHome, etc. Visit our workshops page for the most current information and registration.

Additional Resources

Free Water Saving Devices

Save up to 20 gallons of water a day! FREE low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, toilet leak detection tablets and shower timers are available from the SCVWD Conservation Program and the City of Palo Alto Utilities. View online information on water conservation programs, call the Water Conservation Hotline at (408) 630-2554 or the CPAU Marketing Services at (650) 329-2241 to request free water-saving devices and for program information.

Home Water-Energy Climate Calculator

You can use less water and energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on your utility bill. WECalc, Your Home Water-Energy-Climate Calculator, is a free online tool from the Pacific Institute that shows you how.

Your Water Score

Do you know what your home's "water score" is? Water use is often measured in gallons per capita per day (GPCD). Learn how to calculate your home's GPCD.

Sustainable Landscaping

Ever wondered if native gardens really do use less water? The City of Santa Monica compared a traditional and a native plant landscape over several years. The comparison showed that the native garden was easier to maintain, used less water and produced less pollution. Read more about the garden to garden comparison.

Irrigation Basics for Homeowners

View the workshop presentation from April 2014.

For more water saving tips and ideas, visit our water saving strategies page.

Local Water Supply

Palo Alto’s water comes from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). This high quality water supply consists almost entirely of snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada mountains. Read more information on Palo Alto’s long-term water supply forecast, water demand and conservation programs in the 2010 Urban Water Management Plan.

Join our mailing list and receive updates on programs, rebates and workshops.

Last Updated: Oct 23, 2014