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Ask EMWD

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Submit general questions below for a chance to have your question and the answer featured in a future eConnect, EMWD’s monthly e-newsletter!

Please note: Ask EMWD is not designated to answer any billing and/or account related questions. For questions about billing or individual accounts, please click here.

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Previously Asked Questions

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Previous Ask EMWD! Questions and Answers that have been featured in our monthly eConnect.

November 2022

Can my HOA fine me for not watering my lawn during the drought?

During California’s previous drought, the State Water Resources Control Board adopted regulations stating that Homeowners Associations (HOA) could not issue fines during a state or regional drought emergency, and those rules remain in place.

HOA’s are also not able to prohibit you from installing drought tolerant landscaping as a way to save water, and also may not require homeowners to pressure wash their homes or hardscapes during a drought.

HOA’s can issue citations if your landscape is unkept, so while you can let your lawn go brown, it is important to keep the property free of weeds and well maintained.

EMWD is working with HOA’s throughout its service area to ensure they are partners in water use efficiency as we all do our part during this historic drought.

October 2022

How do I qualify for EMWD’s water use efficiency rebates and services?

All EMWD residential customers with irrigated landscapes — areas in front and backyards currently being watered — are eligible to receive services and rebates.

EMWD will guide you through the rebate process, install equipment for FREE and help you save money and water!

There are multiple ways to participate, whether it’s a free landscape evaluation service, a free weather-based irrigation controller, or free high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles. You can choose one or all options to design front and backyards perfect for you.

Visit our Landscapes for Living website at landscapesforliving.emwd.org.

September 2022

How do I enroll in the turf replacement program?

Removing turf grass is one of the most water saving adjustments a homeowner can make to reduce their water usage and associated costs.

EMWD customers are eligible for a rebate of $3.00 per square foot up to 5,000 square feet through The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) Turf Replacement program—$2.00 from MWD and an additional $1.00 from EMWD.

The program is a two-part application process. In order to receive a rebate, you must first apply to reserve rebate funds prior to starting your project. After the reservation, you will have 180 days to complete the project and submit your request for a rebate.

Items to have ready before applying: 1) A copy of your recent water bill, 2) At least five color photos of the area where you plan to remove turf, 3) A simple landscape plan that shows the area to be transformed and location of your stormwater retention feature, i.e. rain garden, rain barrel, etc.

Please note, approval of rebate applications are on a first-come, first-serve basis and subject to funding availability. Submitting a reservation request or application does not guarantee approval or payment.

Help offset the costs of removing and replacing your front or backyard lawn with drought-tolerant landscaping by visiting www.emwd.org/socal-watersmart.

August 2022

Why are new homes being built when California is experiencing such a serious drought?

EMWD is not a land use agency. Our responsibility is to supply water to developments approved per County and City general plans. In recent years, regulations were expanded to require new construction to have more efficient plumbing and landscaping. EMWD makes sure these standards are met by allocating water budgets that are up to 30 percent lower than older homes and businesses.

New developments also pay a Financial Participation Charge (FPC) to fund development of new water supply sources to meet their own needs. Infrastructure expansion projects such as our new Perris II Desalination complex are funded in-part by FPC’s.

By creating new local water supply sources, new development is not “taking” from existing homes and businesses but helping to expand our local supplies and reduce our reliance on imported water.

Learn more at emwd.org/frequently-asked-questions.

July 2022

Q: I want to get rid of my grass lawn. Where do I begin?

This is a great question, and a great way to save water! 

EMWD customers can receive up to $3 per square foot through rebate programs through SoCalWaterSmart.com. Customers should apply for the program before removing their grass.

From there, EMWD’s Landscapes for Living link on www.emwd.org has a variety of tools available to help you create a beautiful, water-saving landscape at your home!

June 2022

Q:  What are schools and parks doing to help save water?

A:  Schools and parks across EMWD’s service area are among the most forward-thinking when it comes to being efficient water users.

EMWD has worked with both schools and public parks so that many of those facilities are using recycled water to irrigate their fields. This reduces their demands on our drinking water supplies and also provides significant cost savings for them.

Approximately 35 percent of EMWD’s overall water supply is met through recycled water. EMWD currently has 27 schools and 76 parks in its service area using recycled water. Recycled water is also not subject to the same restrictions during the drought as potable water, so these facilities can remain green so our families have a place to recreate.