Residential water customers can get an economic boost with LCRA rebates for improving their irrigation systems, purchasing pool covers, or simply covering their landscaping.
Highland Lakes homeowners can save upfront money in the long run by making improvements to sprinkler systems, pools and even landscaping, cashed out through the Lower Colorado River Authority’s WaterSmart Rebates program.
The program offers rebates of up to 50% of the total cost of residential improvement projects focused on water conservation. The maximum rebate amount per residential customer is $600. The amount of the rebate varies by project.
“Rebates are a win-win because they help people save money and water,” said John Hofmann, executive vice president of LCRA Water. “The rebate encourages people to use water efficiently on their lawns, which not only creates healthy plants and landscaping, but also reduces runoff and pollution.”
Pool owners can claim a $50 or $200 pool insurance rebate, depending on the type of insurance. Pool covers can significantly reduce water loss due to evaporation.
According to the LCRA, “From March to October, a 10,000-gallon pool can evaporate as much as 5.5 feet of water, enough to dry out many pools — resulting in wasted water, maintenance costs, and (and) pool chemicals. .”
Rebates cover a variety of water conservation items including, but not limited to, irrigation system assessments, reduced pressure irrigation system equipment, soil moisture sensors, WaterSense smart controllers, pool filters, mechanical soil aeration, soil testing, and composting and mulching.
“Even relatively small projects, such as aerating the soil or properly maintaining an irrigation system, can have a significant impact,” Hoffman said. “Studies show that about 60 percent of outdoor water use in Texas is used for outdoor irrigation in summer, and about 30 to 40 percent of that is wasted.”
Even testing the soil can help homeowners save water and money on fertilizers, whether chemical or organic. LCRA offers up to $50 in rebates for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension soil tests, or up to 50% off Texas Plant and Soil Lab tests (limited to $125).
“This season, we’ve added new discounts to soil testing,” Hoffman said. “This uses scientific testing to tell you what your soil is lacking, which helps you know what nutrients to provide. With testing by (Texas) A&M (AgriLife Extension), you can say ‘I have Bermuda grass, buffalo grass or native Plant…” or whatever you have, and they’ll give you annual nutritional advice. This simple test can help you improve your landscape and use water more efficiently.”
By following soil nutrient recommendations, landowners don’t overuse fertilizers that run into nearby water sources.
Hoffman also recommends that homeowners check out the Water My Yard program, which provides a weekly watering schedule based on a specific address.
“This can help people water their yards without overwatering,” he said. “Some people think they need to be watered every few days, but data shows that landscapes in the region typically only need to be watered 27 of the 52 weeks of the year.”
Visit the LCRA Residential Rebate webpage to learn more about the rebate, including how to apply. The River Authority also offers commercial rebates for water conservation.