Riverside Public Utilities

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A History of Conservation
Riverside Public Utilities has helped its customers conserve water for nearly 15 years.  Beginning in 2001, RPU offered rebates for water-saving devices such as low-flow toilets and showerheads.

In 2004, the Riverside City Council approved a water conservation surcharge at a rate of 1.5% of all water retail sales to provide a dedicated funding source for water conservation. The City Council renewed the surcharge in 2014 for another 10 years.  To date, Riverside has allocated over $7.5 million for water conservation programs.

From 2001 through 2007, the majority of RPU’s water savings were derived from high-efficiency toilets. In 2007, the toilet retrofit market began to approach saturation as many of the old 3.5 gallons-per-flush toilets were replaced and rebate demand dropped.  As a result, RPU began looking for new ways to help customers save.

Since most residential water use comes from landscaping, RPU began offering rebates for products and services that help customers curb outdoor water use. Inspired by the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s “Cash for Grass” program, RPU created two turf removal programs for its residential customers in 2008 – the Waterwise Landscape & Artificial Turf Rebate Programs.

A commercial waterwise program was added in 2012 and other water efficiency programs followed in 2009, including high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles rebates, weather-based irrigation control rebates and rebates for high-efficiency clothes washers.

In 2010 RPU partnered with Western Municipal Water District (WMWD) and The Toro Company, to launch FreeSprinklerNozzles.com, which allows participating agencies to distribute free, high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles to customers. These specialized nozzles can save 20-30% more water than conventional nozzles can.

In 2013 RPU launched its Smart Irrigation Program, which offers direct installation of high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles and weather-based irrigation controllers.  The program targets the top 10% of commercial and residential water users in RPU’s service territory.

Here are the total lifetime savings for all the water conservation measures RPU has offered since 2001:

Total CCF Savings (Lifetime)

Total Gallons Savings

Total Acre Feet Savings