Water Smart Home Survey

North Marin Water District offers free Water Smart Home Surveys to its customers. This free service includes indoor and outdoor water efficiency checks, a landscape irrigation system efficiency test and a leak detection test.

Our friendly, knowledgeable survey technicians can show how you can easily conserve more water and save money, and we’ll even give you money-saving rebate and incentive information to get you started. Best of all, your appointment can be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you.

Outdoors, we will inspect:

· Flow and leaks

· Sprinklers and irrigation systems

· Hoses

· Faucets

· Landscaping

· Water meter

As part of this program, our survey technicians will teach you how to read your water meter so you can keep track of your own water usage. They will also create a free, custom irrigation schedule based on your particular landscape, designed to save you water and money! Additionally, they will relay rebate and incentive offers to further increase your outdoor water savings.


"Cash-For-Grass" Turf Replacement Incentive


NMWD is offering residential customers a cash incentive for removing automatically irrigated lawn area in their landscapes and replacing with District approved, low water use planted landscapes. The NMWD incentive will pay you up to $50 per 100 square feet of lawn area. The incentive is limited to $400 for single family dwellings, $100 for townhouses or condominiums, and $50 for apartments.


To be eligible for these rebates, the customer must:

  • Agree to brief pre- and post-installation inspections.
  • Submit replacement project plan to NMWD for review and approval prior to installation.
  • Replace the regularly mowed and automatically irrigated lawn with California native low water use plant material (see District Approved Plant List or Sonoma Marin saving water partnership list).
  • Mulch new landscape to a depth of at least 4 inches.
  • Agree not to re-install irrigated turf in the project area.
  • See program application or call the District office for additional eligibility rules.
  • (Commercial Cash for Grass rebates are approved on a case-by-case basis. Call 415-761-8944 for details.)

You are ineligible for the program if:

  • The lawn area is replaced with a pool, building extensions, patio, deck or other hardscape feature, or synthetic turf.
  • The replacement project is irrigated with the same sprinklers used to water the previous lawn area.
  • You do not own the property where turf will be replaced.
  • Your replacement project has a water feature of any kind.

How can I participate?
  • Call NMWD’s Water Conservation Office at (415) 761-8944 and schedule a brief pre-inspection. Rebates are issued only for projects which have been approved in advance.
  • After the pre-inspection has been completed and replacement project has been pre-approved, replace your lawn.
  • When your replacement project is completed, schedule a post-installation inspection.
  • Mail the completed application to NMWD, along with original receipts for plant materials, mulch and irrigation equipment. Be sure to make copies for your own files. If you hire a landscape contractor, ask that materials and labor be billed separately.
  • The rebate will be mailed within 4-6 weeks after the application (with applicable original receipts) is received and the post-installation inspection has been completed.

Cash 4 Grass rebate application (pdf)

NMWD Qualified Plant List

Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership Plant List

Lawn Be Gone

Lawn Be Gone is a "do-it-yourself" alternate option for lawn replacement projects. Eligibility is the same as Cash for Grass projects, but instead of a rebate check NMWD provides delivery of free materials for sheet-mulching the lawn area: compost, rolls of cardboard and wood chips. These materials are layered over the lawn to compost it in place. Pre-qualification site visit and approval of replacement planting plan are required. Call (415) 761-8944 for more information.

Lawn Be Gone Information and Application Form


Water Smart Landscape Rebate


Efficient landscapes can be achieved through a number of strategies including efficient irrigation devices and equipment, and soil maintenance. You may be eligible for rebates when you install District qualified water efficient landscape equipment including:

· Drip irrigation systems

· Water pressure-regulating devices

· Check valves

· Multi-stream rotating sprinkler nozzles (for lawn areas only)

· Rain shut-off devices

· Mulch

· Soil conditioner/amendment

Rebate amount: 50% of the actual cost of District approved items, up to a maximum of $100 for residential customers.

How to participate: Confirm eligibility during your Water Smart Home Survey, or call NMWD at 415-761-8944 to arrange a pre-qualification inspection.


Landscape Rebate Form

Weather Based Irrigation Controller Rebate

A weather-based irrigation controller, or Smart Controller, is an effective technology for reducing water usage outdoors. Unlike a standard automatic timer that turns water on at set intervals regardless of weather and plant needs, a Weather Based Controller uses weather data and site information such as plant type and sprinkler system output to automatically adjust watering times and frequency. This increases water use efficiency, reduces run-off, and improves the health of your landscape. A Weather Based Controller irrigation system can save 30% or more on your landscape water use, and is less expensive than you might think.

Rebate amount: $100 or $30 per active station up to $1,200 per controller, whichever is greater. Rebate cannot exceed the purchase price of the Smart Controller.

How to participate: Confirm eligibility during your Water Smart Home Survey, or call NMWD at 415-761-8944 to arrange a pre-qualification inspection.


Smart Irrigation Controller Rebate Form

Smart Irrigation Controller List

Large Landscape Water Audit Program

NMWD has an auditing program for Novato businesses with irrigated, large landscape areas. Thorough on-site audits can be performed to make sure that water is being applied efficiently to help reduce the business cost of water, and will include a “catch can” test, flow tests, and irrigation inspections and scheduling. Please call NMWD at (415) 761-8944 to schedule an audit. (Note: Audits may be scheduled from April through July only.)

Large Landscape Budget Program

NMWD has developed large landscape water budgets for all dedicated irrigation accounts. NMWD compiled measurements of irrigated turf and shrubs at these sites and developed budgets based on the calculated area and local evapo-transpiration data. The budget allows those business maintenance staffs to compare the current landscape water use compared with calculated water needs and to prioritize audits at the poorest-performing sites. Currently, all dedicated irrigation accounts receive a letter, shortly after their bimonthly bill, advising them of their water budget performance.

Please call (415) 761-8944 to request that the District develop a budget for your landscape sites.

Rainwater / Graywater Rebate

The District has initiated a pilot program to incentivize customers to install systems to capture rainwater or divert graywater to offset potable water demand for landscape irrigation. The District may rebate approved customer installations of rainwater catchment systems and/or graywater systems. See links below for application and participation procedures.

Rainwater Catchment Rebate Form

Graywater Rebate Form


Irrigation Efficiency

California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS)

A CIMIS station provides evapo-transpiration (ET) data, or how much water your landscape will use, in inches, either through plant transpiration or evaporation. This data allows you to manage your landscape irrigation by matching the watering times to reflect the current ET rates. To determine how many inches per hour your irrigation system can apply, call the NMWD for a free water smart home survey. The Novato station has recently been relocated to better reflect the local area landscape water needs. The new station is titled Black Point #187.


Demonstration Garden

NMWD’s Water Conservation Demonstration Garden is located behind the Administrative Office building at 999 Rush Creek Place in Novato. The garden was designed and installed by local firms and contains popular, colorful, and locally-available, low-water use plants. Visit the garden to get ideas for low water use landscaping at your property.

Cistus Dark Pink
Pacific Coast Iris “Raspberry”
Salvia Leucantha

Demonstration Garden Plant List
More Demonstration Garden Pictures
Garden Guide

Pool Cover Rebate

Pool Cover Information and Rebate Form