Stormwater Rebates for Palo Alto Residents and Businesses

Help Your Client Receive a Rebate! 

The City of Palo Alto partners with Valley Water to offer stormwater rebates to residential and commercial property owners (including multi-family sites of 5 units or more) located in Palo Alto. Rebates for rain barrels, cisterns (above and below ground), rain gardens, and pervious pavement focus on projects that help mitigate stormwater pollution in our city.

This rebate program requires that cisterns, rain gardens, and pervious pavement be installed by a California-licensed contractor. This page includes information specifically for contractors to help guide their clients through qualified rebate projects. 

Pick your Rebate 

Click on each rebate option below for information on each application process and rebate incentives, and frequently asked questions. See the contractor FAQ below to learn more.

Apply for a Pervious Pavement rebate  Apply for a Rain Garden rebate  Apply for a Rain Barrel rebate  Apply for a Cistern rebate

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should my client apply for a stormwater rebate?

If you and your client have already discussed a qualified project, the rebate can help offset the installation costs. What’s more, contractors can apply on behalf of their client with the written permission of the property owner!

Installation of these projects contribute to residential or commercial property improvements by:

  • Diverting rain away from foundations and rooftops, and toward surfaces where water can be absorbed into soil or stored for future irrigation needs;

  • Reducing moisture and ponding around building foundations;

  • Stopping street ponding at the source by allowing stormwater to infiltrate the ground rather than collect at low points;

  • Fixing gutter system blockages through the use of rain barrels or cisterns.

How much of a rebate can my client receive?

The rebate totals differ based on the type of project.

Rain Garden

Pervious Pavement

Rain Barrel


Rate: $2.00/square foot of roof area diverted

Max: $600

Rate: $1.50/square foot

Residential Max: $1,000

Commercial Max: $5,000

Rate: $70/barrel

Residential Max: $3,000

Commercial Max: $55,000

Rate: $1.00/gallon

Residential Max: $3,000

Commercial Max: $55,000

Can my client apply for more than one stormwater rebate at a time (e.g. rain barrel and rain garden)?

Yes, applicants can apply for more than one stormwater feature. However, each stormwater feature is considered a different application (with the exception of rain barrels. Multi-rain barrel projects are considered one application). 

Applicants are not limited to the number of rebates they may receive in a set amount of time. They are however, limited by funding maximums. See "How much of a rebate can my client receive?"

What projects might require permits?

Any project with the following features will need a building permit or consultation with the City of Palo Alto Development Center before installation:

Rain Garden:

  • Rain garden installations that require moving more than 100 cubic yards of soil

Pervious Pavement:

  • Pervious pavement projects sized greater than or equivalent to 2,500 square feet

  • Commercial pervious pavement projects

Rain Barrels/Cisterns:

  • Stacked rain barrels (one rain barrel on top of another)

  • Below-ground cistern

  • Cistern with capacity greater than 5,000 gallons

  • Cistern with a pump, backflow device, or any other automatic feature. This includes an irrigation system.

  • Cistern connected to potable water in any way.

How do I get started?

Once you have a client who intends to install one of the following features, you can view the City of Palo Alto Stormwater Rebate page for more information. Please note that applications for the rebate must be submitted prior to construction/installation.


Back to the Stormwater Rebate Program Homepage