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  Consent-Community Services   # 24.       
Community Services  
Meeting Date: 10/12/2021  
Brief Title:    Water Conservation Rebate Program
From: Taro Echiburu, Director, Department of Community Services
Staff Contact: Tricia Valenzuela, Analyst, Department of Community Services, 406-4817

Subject
Adopt a resolution establishing a water conservation rebate program in Wild Wings and approve a water conservation program consisting of landscape design assistance, grass removal, and rebates for the purchase and installation of weather-based irrigation controllers for Wild Wings residents. (No general fund impact) (Echiburu/Valenzuela)
Recommended Action
  1. Adopt a resolution establishing a water conservation rebate program in Wild Wings; and
     
  2. Approve a landscape design assistance program, a grass removal program, and a weather-based irrigation rebate program for Wild Wings residents.
Strategic Plan Goal(s)
Thriving Residents
Sustainable Environment
Reason for Recommended Action/Background
The Wild Wings Community has been severely impacted by the drought. The Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution at the July 27, 2021 meeting urging a 25 percent voluntary water conservation target for this community. Both residents and the operators of the Wild Wings Golf Course have continued to meet that target on a monthly basis; however, staff and the Wild Wings County Service Area Advisory Committee (CSA Advisory Committee) agree that further incentives to encourage low water use landscaping may help residents conserve water in the long-term, thus freeing up limited groundwater supplies for potable uses.

Staff researched successful water reduction programs in both Yolo County and neighboring Sacramento County. Staff presented three water conservation rebate program options to the Wild Wings CSA Advisory Committee in August 2021.

The first option presented to the CSA Advisory Committee was a grass removal program. This program would not be retroactive and would not apply to projects already underway or completed prior to pre-inspection. The maximum conversion rebate was set at $500 per household at $1.25 per square foot of grass converted up to 400 square feet. Staff would have to visit the site and verify the work.

The second option presented to the CSA Advisory Committee was a weather-based irrigation controller rebate. A weather-based irrigation controller uses weather data, including moisture levels to adapt irrigation schedules. This proposed rebate would have likely subsidized the cost as the maximum rebate presented was $150 and most weather-based irrigation controller systems cost about $150.

The third option presented to the CSA Advisory Committee was a Flume rebate of $100. Flume is a smart water monitor that can detect leaks as well as monitor and manage water usage. The purchase price of the monitor is $199. It was learned that this system was not feasible in the community due to the current water meters, which are incompatible with Flume.

The CSA Advisory Committee was interested in the grass removal program and a different program offered through the City of Sacramento. Sacramento offers a landscape design assistance program that provides a rebate of $200 for a two-hour consultation with a City-approved landscape architect. This rebate is only given to a homeowner after the homeowner has completed the project to remove grass and create a "water wise landscape." The CSA Advisory Committee recommended increasing the rebate in Wild Wings to $500 per parcel. Staff is recommending a $200 rebate for the landscape design assistance program, but a maximum $500 rebate for each parcel when combined with the other feasible rebates previously mentioned.  

The CSA Advisory Committee recommended allocating $10,000 for a landscape design assistance program.

Staff concurs with the CSA Advisory Committee and recommends allocating $10,000 from the Wild Wings Water Fund to establish a water conservation program in the Wild Wings CSA boundary consisting of the landscape design assistance program and the addition of the grass removal program, and the weather-based irrigation controllers on a first-come first-serve basis. The CSA Advisory Committee was in support of the grass removal program and the weather-based irrigation controller, but wanted to add that later. Staff believes it would be a benefit for the Wild Wings community to establish all options now with the same maximum rebate per parcel. Staff will provide outreach in the Wild Wings community regarding the conservation program.

Funding for any rebate program would be on a first-come first-serve basis and is not guaranteed. Homeowners will have to check funding availability by contacting the CSA Manager.
Collaborations (including Board advisory groups and external partner agencies)
Staff has collaborated with the Office of County Counsel and Department of Financial Services Procurement Division.

Fiscal Impact
Fiscal impact (see budgetary detail below)
Fiscal Impact (Expenditure)
Total cost of recommended action:    $   10,000
Amount budgeted for expenditure:    $   10,000
Additional expenditure authority needed:    $  
One-time commitment     Yes
Source of Funds for this Expenditure
$10,000
Explanation (Expenditure and/or Revenue)
Further explanation as needed:
The cost of the water conservation rebate program will be paid for with funding from the Wild Wings Water Fund. Monies in that account are from water service fees on homeowners within the Wild Wings CSA.
Attachments
Att. A Resolution

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Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Leslie Lindbo 09/27/2021 11:28 AM
Taro Echiburu Lupita Ramirez 09/27/2021 12:49 PM
Leslie Lindbo Leslie Lindbo 09/27/2021 03:33 PM
Taro Echiburu Taro Echiburu 09/28/2021 10:55 AM
Shelby Milliren Shelby Milliren 10/05/2021 12:03 PM
Eric Will Eric Will 10/05/2021 01:42 PM
Form Started By: Patricia Valenzuela Started On: 09/20/2021 01:20 PM
Final Approval Date: 10/05/2021

    

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