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Southern Nevada Water Authority

Program Conditions - Water Smart Landscapes

Water Smart Landscapes Rebate conditions

Get the facts on the Water Smart
Landscapes Rebate program.

Read the program conditions carefully before applying for the program.

I. Pre-Conversion Eligibility

A. Authorization to Proceed: Before removing any lawn or water features, the application must be submitted to SNWA and the applicant must participate in an SNWA pre-conversion site review. Starting without SNWA approval will make the conservation ineligible.

B. Customer Eligibility: Areas to be converted must use water from an SNWA water agency or groundwater well within the Las Vegas Valley Groundwater Basin. The applicant's water and/or groundwater account(s) must be in good standing.

C. Qualifying Areas: Areas to be converted must be a living maintained lawn or permanently-installed outdoor surface of water. Conversions necessary to comply with any governmental code, law or policy relating to landscape design standards are ineligible. Project areas previously declared ineligible by SNWA will not be reconsidered.

D. Minimum Project Size: At least 400 square feet of lawn and/or water surface must be converted. Smaller projects are accepted if they completely eliminate a lawn or water feature on a commercial, institutional or multifamily property or eliminate the front or back lawn of a single-family home.

II. Landscaping Requirements for the Converted Area

A. 50 Percent Living Plant Cover: At completion, converted areas must contain enough plants to create at least 50 percent living plant cover at maturity. The SNWA provides a list of plant cover values to be used regardless of the size of the plants at the time of inspection. In a single family residential project, you may instead request SNWA to determine whether the requirement is met by considering the entire plantable area of the front or back yard where the conversion occurred (in which case all plantable areas must meet the requirements of sections II(B) and II(C) of this program agreement and no lawn areas may remain).

B. Efficient Irrigation: If a watering system is used, it must be a drip irrigation system equipped with a pressure regulator, filter and emitters. The system must be free of leaks and malfunctions. Each drip emitter must be rated at less than 20 gallons per hour (gph). If part of a lawn is converted, the sprinkler system must be properly modified to provide adequate coverage to the remaining lawn without spraying the converted area (narrow lawn areas often waste water and should be avoided).

C. Surface Treatments: The converted area must be completely covered by a layer of mulch permeable to air and water. Common mulching materials include rock, bark, ungrouted flagstone or pavers and artificial turf manufactured to be permeable. Concrete or other impermeable treatments do not qualify. Living groundcovers qualify as mulch provided the individual plants are installed at sufficient density to assure 100 percent plant cover. If a weed barrier is used beneath the mulch, it must be manufactured to be permeable to air and water.

III. Terms of the Rebate

A. Important Timelines and Deadlines: Within 12 months of executing this agreement, you must complete your conversion and notify SNWA. SNWA will inspect completed projects for compliance. If the conversion fails inspection, you will be granted 60 days or the remainder of the 12-month period, whichever is greater, to attain compliance and notify SNWA. This agreement terminates 18 months after execution or upon incentive payment, whichever comes first. All applicant obligations, including submittal of properly executed covenant documents, must be fulfilled within the 18-month period or the rebate may be forfeited.

B. Incentive Amounts and Limits: $2 per square foot for the first 5,000 square feet and $1 per square foot thereafter, not to exceed $300,000 of approved payments per fiscal year. Limitations are per property, per owner, per SNWA fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). Checks are issued to property owners or their legally-appointed agent. Well users' rebates are limited to 2,500 square feet per fiscal year and are subject to availability of special funds. The SNWA may limit new agreements to manage program costs.

C. Requirement to Sustain the Conversion: Owner must accept a restrictive covenant and grant of conservation easement that requires the conversion to be sustained in perpetuity.

D. Other Responsibilities of the Applicant: SNWA enforces only the conditions of this agreement. The applicant is responsible for complying with all laws, policies, codes and covenants that may apply. Quality and appearance of the conversion is the responsibility of the applicant. Rebates may be considered taxable income.

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