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River-Friendly Landscape REBATES

River Friendly Landscape Program 

The "River-Friendly Landscape Program" offers several types of rebates to residential and commercial customers to help pay for water-efficient upgrades.

Turf Conversion Rebate
Replace existing turf (grass) with "water wise" landscaping. Submit the online form or download the appropriate application (Single-family, or Multi-family/commercial).

Landscape Design Assistance
Used in conjunction with the Turf Conversion Rebate. Receive landscape design assistance from a City-approved landscape designer.

Smart Controller Rebate 
EPA Water Sense Labeled Smart Irrigation Controller. Submit the
online form or download the application (all property types).

Irrigation Upgrade Rebate 
Install irrigation system upgrades, such as drip irrigation, and replace standard fixed-spray sprinklers with rotary sprinkler nozzles. Submit the online form or download single-family or multi-family/commercial application.

Rain Barrel Rebate 
Install Rain Barrel(s) to store water for use during dry periods. Submit the online form or download the application.

Laundry-to-Landscape Rebate
Install a "graywater" system that diverts gently used water from your washing machine and routes it to landscapes. Download the application.

Rebate Amounts

Single Family Customers:

  • Turf Conversion Rebate: Your rebate will be the amount of your applicable expenses as verified by receipts but will not exceed $1.50 times the square footage of turf removed up to $3000 for the front, side and back yard.
  • Irrigation upgrade Rebate: $400 for materials used to convert to drip irrigation for front, side or back yard and $400 for adding EPA WaterSense Labeled Smart Irrigation Controller.
  • Labor costs by licensed General Contractor or landscaping contractor (C-27) of up to $500 for Turf Conversion or $150 for Irrigation upgrades or Smart controller rebate may be included as a reimbursable expense. 

Multi-family (3+ Units), Commercial & Institutional Accounts:

  • The maximum rebate for large sites is $50,000, while funds last, to be used toward either turf conversion, irrigation upgrades, or a combination thereof.
  • Turf Conversion Rebate: $1.50  per square of grass converted to a water wise landscape. Your rebate will be the amount of your applicable expenses as verified by receipts but will not exceed $1.50 times the square footage of turf removed, up to $50,000
  • Irrigation Upgrade incentive: Smart controller rebates; Reimbursement is $25/wired irrigation station from $400-$700. Funding is also available for the conversion from spray to drip irrigation and the conversion from fixed fan spray sprinklers (like the Rainbird 1800 or Toro 570 series) to rotating nozzle heads.
  • Maximum reimbursed labor costs of up to 20 percent of material costs of the retrofit project - work must be done by a licensed general contractor or landscape contractor (C27). Contractor receipts must be itemized.

Turf Conversion Rebate Requirements

New landscape plans must contain at least 60 percent plant coverage, once plants have matured.

Each converted area must include at least five, non-invasive, drought-tolerant plants, such as groundcovers, shrubs and trees. All plants must be pre-approved by the City.

New landscape must be watered by drip irrigation, or, no in-ground irrigation system shall be installed if the customer chooses to hand water.

Automated irrigation systems are required to use an EPA WaterSense-certified smart irrigation controller.

Mulch may be organic or inorganic and must be spread 2 to 5 inches beneath trees and shrubs and shall be 6 inches or less in diameter.

Designs elements that are not plant material, such as planters, rocks and mulch, must be part of the converted area landscape.

Pathways may be installed but must be permeable to count toward the canopy coverage requirement.

Existing trees that are located within the converted area and use a low or medium amount water, will receive credit for one-quarter of the total mature tree canopy toward the 60 percent plant coverage requirement.

Tree canopy and plants outside the converted area are not considered in the calculation, even if they are adjacent to or overhanging the converted area.

Each area separated by a driveway or sidewalk will be considered separately when calculating the canopy coverage requirement.

Ineligible items include, but are not limited to: artificial grass, soil amendments, seeds, and tools purchased to complete the project.  

Landscape Design Inspiration

Check out these landscape layouts from Rescape California to inspire your design:

Rain Garden Planting Plan and ideas

  GardenSoft Water Wise Gardening in the Gold Country Region 

Having a contractor help you with your landscaping project? Please share this Contractor Information Packet with your contractor to ensure that your receipts are completed correctly.


  1. Submit a completed Turf Conversion application. Include photos of existing turf, plant coverage worksheet and landscape plan.  If mailing it in using the PDF form, email or mail to:

    City of Sacramento Department of Utilities
    The River Friendly Landscape Program
    5730 24th Street, Building 22
    Sacramento, CA, 95822
  2. Wait for approval from water Conservation staff. Please note that missing information may cause delay.

  3. Schedule the pre-inspection before beginning your project.

  4. Complete your landscape conversion project and submit receipts and a photo within the 120 days following project approval.

  5. Post inspection from Water Conservation staff - After we receive your itemized receipts, they will be reviewed and verified by Water Conservation Staff. Following receipt review, you will be subject to a post-completion inspection (you will be contacted to confirm the appointment).

  6. Receive a rebate check - You should receive your rebate check within 10-12 weeks of your post-inspection appointment and approval.

Contact US

For more information about the River- Friendly Landscape Rebate Program or if you have questions about your application or the application process, please email or call 916-808-1337.


Online forms:     Downloadable forms:
Smart Controller Rebate                                  Smart Controller Rebate
Irrigation Upgrade Rebate    Irrigation Upgrade Rebate (Single-Family or Multi- Family/Commercial)
Turf Conversion Rebate    Turf Conversion Rebate (Single-Family or Multi-Family/Commercial)
     Landscape Designer Rebate
Rain Barrel Rebate    Rain Barrel and Laundry-to-Landscape



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