Metropolitan Board Expands Water Conservation Programs
Rebates offered for flow-monitoring devices, toilets in older apartment buildings
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Southern Californians will have more opportunities to save water under two new programs approved by the Metropolitan Water District Board of Directors.
Both programs provide rebates for the purchase of water-saving equipment – one for flow-monitoring devices that provide real-time data on water usage; the other for premium high-efficiency toilets to replace older models in apartment buildings and multi-family complexes.
“There’s a lot of technology out there that can help people save water in their homes. The challenge is getting people to install it. Our rebate programs help Southern Californians overcome some of the financial hurdles,” Metropolitan board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said.
Residential flow-monitoring devices allow people to see how much water they are using in real-time through their phone or tablet. As residents understand their water habits, the idea is that they’ll reduce how much they use, and fix any leaks detected through the devices, explained Metropolitan Water Efficiency Manager Bill McDonnell.
“It’s a relatively new technology. Early studies show users reduce their water use by 17 percent. That’s significant. But we need more data to confirm this water savings,” McDonnell said.
The new pilot program approved by Metropolitan’s board Tuesday will help collect this data. Through the program, Metropolitan will offer a rebate for the devices of either $100 or $150, depending on whether the district wins a $1 million federal grant for the program. Even without the grant, Metropolitan will fund the rebate, though at the lower amount.
Under the toilet replacement program, approved by the board in a separate action, Metropolitan will offer a rebate of up to $250 to replace older, high water-using toilets with high-efficiency models in multi-family housing built before 1994. With this rebate – six times larger than the standard $40 toilet rebate – Metropolitan aims to incentivize third-party contractors to work with property owners to install toilets across entire buildings or complexes, particularly in areas with lower historical participation, such as disadvantaged communities. With an annual budget of $2.75 million, the goal is to replace 10,000 toilets annually.
The new on-going program comes after a similar pilot program, which was so popular when it launched in 2019 that the $2.5 million in available rebate funds were swept up in less than 30 minutes.
“Since the pilot ended, we’ve had a lot of requests from water agencies and contractors asking when we’re going to start it again. There are still a lot of opportunities out there to save water,” McDonnell said.
For more information about all of Metropolitan’s rebate programs, visit bewaterwise.com.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
Rebecca Kimitch, (213) 217-6450; (202) 821-5253, cell
Maritza Fairfield, (213) 217-6853; (909) 816-7722, cell