Turf Replacement

50% of materials cost up to $1 per square foot of turf replaced with low-water use grasses, low-water use plants, and/or synthetic turf.

Replace existing high-water use turf with low-water use grasses, low-water use plants, and/or synthetic turf and receive up to $1 per square foot of turf replaced (up to $2/square foot if you add the State Rebate). In addition to receiving a rebate, you will save money on water and landscape maintenance. The maximum turf replacement rebates from Soquel Creek Water District are $1,000 per fiscal year (July 1-June 30) for single-family residential customers and $10,000 per fiscal year for commercial and multi-family residential customers.

Turf Replacement Rebate Application


Water savings

When you replace turf with low-water use grasses and/or plants, you can save about 17 gallons of water per year per square foot of turf replaced. A typical turf replacement project costs about $4 per square foot for materials and labor so the District’s turf replacement rebate covers about 25 percent or one-quarter of your project costs.

For landscaping inspiration and ideas specific to our local climate, check out the Water Smart Gardening of Santa Cruz County website. Sheet mulching is one technique for replacing lawn without tearing it out. Learn more at the Monterey Bay Friendly Landscaping website.

Soquel Creek Water District Turf Replacement Rebate Approval Process

  1. Schedule a pre-approval inspection. Call (831) 475-8501 x146 or email roys@soquelcreekwater.org.
  2. Complete turf removal and landscaping work and save all receipts for materials.
  3. Schedule a post-inspection.
  4. Submit Turf Replacement Rebate Application and attach original receipts for plants and related materials.

Turf Replacement Rebate Eligibility

Complete rebate eligibility requirements are listed on the turf replacement rebate application. However, we still want you to be aware of the following:

  • This rebate requires a pre-approval inspection by Soquel Creek Water District (SqCWD) staff. SqCWD will provide the applicant with a pre-approval form that must be signed by the applicant and provided to the SqCWD representative at the time the pre-approval inspection is completed. Do not remove existing turf until after the pre-approval inspection.
  • The existing turf area must have an in-ground irrigation system in place. However, the grass doesn't need to be green.
  • The existing irrigation system must be replaced with low-volume drip irrigation or removed.
  • One-quarter or 25% of the re-landscaped area must be covered at plant maturity with low-water use plants. Unplanted areas must be landscaped with permeable hardscape or covered in at least two inches of mulch.
  • Re-landscaping must be completed within 120 days of the pre-approval inspection.
  • The re-landscaping project must be inspected by District staff before the rebate credit is approved.
  • The maximum turf replacement rebate for single-family residential customers is $1,000 per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Commercial/institutional and multifamily residential customers may receive a maximum rebate of $10,000 per fiscal year.
  • The turf replacement rebate cannot be combined with the drip irrigation retrofit rebate.
  • The IRS requires that the Soquel Creek Water District issue IRS Form 1099 to all rebate program participants receiving $600 or more per calendar year. In order to generate an accurate 1099, The District requires that rebate program participants submit IRS Form W-9 to the District when rebates are anticipated to be $600 or more per calendar year. The State of California Revenue and Taxation Code, Sections 17138.2 and 24038.2, exempts turf removal rebates from state taxation, however they are still subject to federal taxation and should be reported on your federal income tax return.

If you have any questions regarding turf replacement rebates, or need additional information, please contact our Conservation Department at (831) 475-8500 option 8.


Attention Single-Family Residential Customers:

You may also be eligible for an additional State of California rebate of $1 per square foot of turf removed.  See the State’s Save Our Water Rebate Program website for their eligibility requirements. Customers must apply for the State rebate separately from the District rebate.

Important note – There are some differences in the District’s turf rebate program and the State’s program:

  • The State rebate does not allow for the use of synthetic turf in the rebated portion of the converted landscape.
  • The State requires that at least one tree, existing or new, must be incorporated into the converted landscape.

Other differences may exist between the two rebate programs and it’s the applicant’s responsibility to read and meet all rebate terms and conditions.  Rebate qualification under the District’s program does not guarantee qualification under the State’s program and vice versa.  Please direct all questions about the State’s program to the State.


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