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PALMDALE — The Palmdale Water District expanded its water conservation rebate program to include commercial and industrial customers, in addition to residential customers.

The change, unanimously approved by the Board of Directors on Sept. 13, is intended to broaden the reach of the District’s water conservation efforts during a time of increasing droughts.

The policy change came about as a result of increased communications with other local agencies that are customers of the District, including the City of Palmdale, Palmdale School District and Antelope Valley Union High School District, Resource and Analytics Supervisor Claudia Bolanos said.

The rebates offered include those for high-efficiency toilets, moisture-retaining additives, ultra-low or zero water urinals, weather-based irrigation controllers, rotating sprinkler nozzles and micro-irrigation conversion, according to the staff report.

The Board also approved an increase in the amount allowed for its Water Wise Landscape Conversion program and extended the conversion to its commercial customers, as well.

This program pays customers for replacing lawns and other water-intensive landscaping with drought-tolerant plants and other water-efficient landscaping.

Under the program, customers may receive $1.50 per square foot of lawn replaced, plus an additional 50 cents per square foot in a quick completion incentive.

The increase approved by the Board for residential customers is from 1,000 to 1,500 square feet. This was necessary as an incentive for those who may be “on the fence” about participating due to the maximum of the rebate or the size of their existing lawns, Bolanos said.

It also brings the district’s rules more in line with other similar programs, she said.

Commercial customers requested inclusion in the program, as the rebates can help justify the costs of the replacement programs, she said.

The commercial participation is introduced without a cap, and will be reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis and fund availability, according to the staff report.

Visit palmdalewater.org for information on the district’s different rebate and landscape conversion programs.

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