Alerts

Water Conservation Rebate Program

Application open!

The water rebate program is SOLD OUT as of July 17, 2023 for most eligible items. There are still funds available for free trees as part of the Raise the Canopy and Fruit Tree Replacement portions of the program.

The Town of Okotoks wants to reward you for your water conservation efforts! This summer SAVE money on your utility bill by reducing your water use!

Why do we have a residential Water Conservation Rebate Program?

Residents making efforts towards reducing water consumption are providing a much needed service to the community, and deserve to be recognized. Our growing community’s water-use peaks during the summer months putting pressure on the Sheep River to provide water for our activities, and on the water treatment plant for keeping up with our demand.

The Sheep River currently provides enough water to sustain our Town, but using less water avoids overworking the treatment plant on warm days, and helps to maintain a healthy habitat for the other creatures who depend on it, especially during drier seasons. 

Adhering to the watering schedule at all times is part of caring for each other and our environment.

Details

The residential Water Conservation Rebate Program starts accepting applications on May 1, 2023 through to December 15, 2023 on a first-come, first-served basis or until the fund is fully depleted. Specialty items (xeriscape projects and rainwater irrigation systems) open up on March 1, 2023! Your rebate will be reflected on your Town bi-monthly utility account. 


Businesses and institutions are eligible for the Water Smart Business Grant! Check here for more details.

Xeriscape landscaping rebates and rainwater irrigation system rebate applications open March 1, 2023! See the Qualifying Items tab for more details.


For questions regarding the program please keep reading, or email Environment and Sustainability or call 403-995-6316.


How do I apply for a Water Conservation rebate?

Click the link below to apply for qualifying purchases made in 2023.

Apply 

Paper Copies: If you don't have a computer/smart phone, call 403-995-6316 for access to a paper copy of the application.

Items

Descriptions

Rebate Amounts: Rebates for items in this category are 50% of the cost up to the amount listed under each item. Each item rebate amount is the maximum total that a household can receive from the program annually for that item.

Payment: Rebate funds in the amount of under $1,500 will appear on your utility bill - NO other forms of payment will be issued. Rebate amounts of $1,500 or over will be issued a cheque or electronic fund transfer payment.

Apply Now!

Traditional Indigenous Plants, Seeds and Drought-Tolerant Trees - NEW!

50% up to $100

These plants are significant to the Indigenous Peoples in our region, and identified as part of the Town’s Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Assessment

One recommendation from the assessment focuses on encouraging residents to plant traditional species in their yards and learn about their use by First Nations people. The Town is putting this recommendation into action this year through the rebate program. These plants have been local to our growing region for hundreds of years. 

Note: Only items on the Plant List are eligible for a rebate. These plants must live in the ground;  plants for pots or containers are NOT eligible.

View the Plant list

Would you like your rebate processed quickly? If you answered yes, please note:

  • Take high quality pictures of the plant(s), including the plant label. We need to zoom in close to identify your plant properly. 
  • Take picture(s) of your new plants in their respective garden areas after planting. 
  • To conserve water, your plants need mulch. In the garden photo, we need to see that your plants have been provided with around 2 inches of mulch (trees need around 4 inches). Your plants don't like mulch touching the stem.

Raising the Canopy

The Town will be providing an extra $100, prior to any rebate funding, towards any tree on the plant list. Apply for a rebate and get $100 towards the cost of the tree, and 50% up to $100 for the remaining cost. First 100 applicants, funding is limited to 1 tree per household.

e.g. A tree costs you $150. Raising the Canopy covers $100, rebate covers 50% of the remaining $50 for a total rebate of $125.

Check out the Planting Guide for how to properly plant and care for your new trees and plants!

Fruit Tree Replacement - NEW!

100% up to $500

This rebate will help you create a deer-deterrent yard! This rebate covers the removal and replacement of fruit-bearing trees located on residential property. Any fruit-bearing tree qualifies when it measures less than 15cm around the trunk at the 15cm mark from the ground. Replacement trees must be a non-fruit-bearing tree. If selected from the eligible tree rebate list, then it can be combined with the Raise the Canopy funds.

Drought Tolerant Turf/Grass

50% up to $1,500

Drought tolerant turf/grass sod, grass seed, and hydro-seed are eligible for the rebate program if they are TWCA-certified and/or composition consists of less than 30% of Kentucky Blue Grass. Rebate includes the cost of installation.

Note: Proof of composition required. Please provide proof of turf/seed mix composition from the bag or provide a product composition list from the supplier/installer.

Turf Alternatives

50% up to $100

 

Eligible types include white Dutch Clover and sedum turf (zones 1-3).

Note: Proof of composition required. Please provide proof of seed mix composition from the bag or provide a product composition list from the supplier/installer.

    Compost (Grade A) - NEW!

    50% up to $200

    Compost mixture that is 100% composted animal manure, or plant-based compost. Includes compost used to top-dress lawns and amend garden soil to aid in water retention and soil health. (Examples: composted sheep manure, mushroom compost)
    Note: Does NOT include soil mixes or fertilizers.

    GeneralAire Water Savor controller for flow-through humidifier system

    50% up to $100

     

    Rebate for the installation and cost of a GeneralAire Water Savor controller that is installed on a flow-through humidifier system.

    Note: To ensure that your new Water Savor controller will work its best, the installation must be done by a professional. Please provide a photo of the installed contoller with your application.

    The GeneralAire Water Savor is the only humidifier controller available that meets the Town of Okotoks water conservation requirements

    Irrigation controller - WaterSense® labeled

    50% up to $250

    Rebate provided for the installation of a WaterSense® labeled irrigation controller. Sensors/controllers purchased for new or existing irrigation systems are eligible.

    Note: Installation must be done by a professional irrigation contractor to ensure that your new irrigation controller is working its best. The product spec sheet must be included in your application.

    Irrigation Master Valve Installation

    50% up to $75

    Rebate for the installation of a master valve on an irrigation system. Master valves help prevent leaks.

    Note: Installation must be done by a professional irrigation contractor to ensure that master valve is working its best. The product spec sheet must be included in your application.

    Mulch (Bark & Rock)

    50% up to $100

    Rebate includes all forms of mulch (bark and rock) that are used for landscaping/groundcover:

    Examples: bark shavings, nuggets, wood chip mixes, rock mixes, shale

    Things you will want to know:

    • Please include a photo of the mulched area after mulch is added to your yard.
    • The purpose of the mulch is to provide cover around plants to reduce a need for water or to replace turf/grass.
    • A rebate will not be provided for mulch for areas under structures (decks, etc.), driveways, or dog runs.
    • Mulch must be permeable; non-permeable surfaces such as pavers or patio stones aren't mulch and are not accepted.
    • Rubber mulch is not accepted in the program.
    • Delivery cost is not included.

    Did you know? The price of cubic yard bags of mulch include delivery and the cost of the bag. Your rebate amount is calculated for only the cost of the mulch.

    Rain Barrels

    50% up to:

    $100 for up to 100 gallons

    $200 for up to 200 gallons

    $300 for up to 300 gallons

    $400 for up to 400 gallons

    Residential or commercial rain barrel, any type.

    Must provide proof of rain barrel capacity (litres or gallons) on the application.

    Limit of 2 per household.

    Rain Barrel Accessories

    50% up to $25

    Rebate provided for the repair or replacement of a rain barrel spigot, and for the purchase of diverter kits for the purpose of connecting rain barrels together.

    Rain Sensor 

    50% up to $50

     

    Rebate provided for the installation of a rain sensor that suspends the irrigation schedule during a rain event. Sensors purchased for new or existing irrigation systems are eligible.

    Note: Installation must be done by a professional irrigation contractor to ensure that your new rain sensor is working its best. The product spec sheet must be included in your application.

    Soaker hoses

    50% up to $50

    Rebate provided for the purchase of a soaker hose for use in a flower or vegetable garden.

    Limit of two per household.

    For best water efficiency, please use a watering timer with the soaker hose. Alternatively, soaker hoses can be hooked up to a rain barrel!

    Toilets (WaterSense® labeled)

    50% up to $100/toilet

    Rebates will be provided to replace high flow toilets (13 litres or 3 gallons/flush or more) with WaterSense® labeled low flow toilets.

    Important!

    • Application requires a photo of proof of each old toilet's water use amount (gallons or litres/flush) or, if that can't be found, the make and model of each toilet being replaced.
    • Photo of proof of WaterSense® label or specification sheet must be submitted for each new toilet.

    Limit of 4 per household.

    Watering timer

    50% up to $25 (each) - limit of 2 per household

     

    Rebate includes outdoor water timers that attach to an outdoor garden hose and are programmable to automatically shut off the water flow at end of programmed watering period.

    Note: Follow watering schedule when using water timer. Please monitor the time needed to sufficiently water turf as it requires only 1 inch of water per week to thrive.

     

    Specialty Rebate Items (Residential) - Open March 1st!

    Rainwater Collection System 

    Apply

    50% up to $2,000 per household

    Rebate for systems that include larger residential scaled tank systems/cisterns that collect a minimum of 2,000 litres (500 gallons) of rainwater. Collection system expenses such as transport piping, debris traps, filters, pumps and installation costs are eligible for rebate.

    NOTE: Pre-approval from the Town required. Contact Sustainability at 403.995.6316, or apply online from March 1 until September 1.
     

    Xeriscaping Rebate 

    Apply 

    Maximum of $3,000 per property

    See the Xeriscape tab for all the details.

    Rebate provided for pre-approved turf removal and xeriscape landscaping project where minimum 46 m² turf is removed and replaced with drought tolerant landscaping. New single family home build landscapes eligible.

    Successful rebate - what you need to know:

    • Program awarded on first come, first served basis.
    • Pre-approval from the Town is required.
    • Project must be completed by September 1st.
    • Project area must be conversion of turf or a new-build/un-landscaped yard.
    • Minimum of 40% of new xeriscape landscape area must be plants (mature size of plant is used in the calculation). 
    • All plants must be drought tolerant. 
    • Eligible items for the rebate include drought tolerant plants/deer resistant plants, soil amendment, mulch, equipment rental for turf removal, landscape fabric, and basic edging, as well as install/delivery costs.
    • Non-eligible items include all hardscaping (decks, patio stones, etc.).
    • Please apply BEFORE you've started your landscape project if possible. Already started? Apply anyways and we can chat about whether or not your project is eligible.

     

    The Rebate Program opens May 1! 

    Apply Now!

    Would you like your rebate application processed quickly and without any hassle?

    If your answer is a resounding YES, please ensure you read the Program Details tab and any information under the Qualifying Items tab so that you know exactly what we need to approve your application with success.

    All qualifying items purchased as of January 1, 2023 are eligible.


    Xeriscape Rebate Program - Open March 1, 2023

    Funding for turf removal and water-wise landscaping is available to 10 households each year.

    Apply here!


    Rainwater Irrigation System Rebate - Open March 1, 2023

    Funding for a large rainwater capture system, including a pump and irrigation piping, that can water gardens and even lawns is available to 5 households a year.

    Apply here!

     

    What is Xeriscaping?

    The word ‘xeriscape’ might bring a picture of a desert-like landscape or a rock garden to mind but a xeriscape landscape can be beautiful, lush, and green.  Xeriscaping means water-wise or water-efficient landscaping. It involves landscaping a large area (see requirements below) with plants that are appropriate to dry climates and providing healthy growing conditions. Xeriscaping creates an environmentally friendly and beautiful landscape that can be maintained with little or no supplementary watering once plants are established.

    Xeriscaping does not mean adding drought tolerant plants to existing garden spaces. Xeriscaping includes removing a large area of turf, like a front yard lawn, and replacing it with native and/or drought tolerant plants. It includes amending the soil depth and quality, so that plants will thrive in dry conditions, and adding a thick layer of mulch so that moisture doesn’t evaporate. The goal of a xeriscape landscape is to have a yard space that is self-sufficient, low-maintenance, and beautiful.

    This rebate is for a pre-approved turf removal and xeriscape landscaping project where a minimum of 46 m² turf is removed and replaced with drought tolerant landscaping. New and existing residential single family home landscapes are eligible.

    How much is the rebate? Maximum of $3,000 per property for all eligible expenses.

    This sounds great! How do I start?

    Note: The Xeriscape Rebate has room for 10 yards this year and is currently full and maintaining a waitlist! Apply now to hold your place in the program in case of any cancellations.

    1. If you (or your landscaper) have an idea for a project and are interested in finding out if it will work, go online and apply on or after March 1, 2023.

    2. A Town staff member will give you a call and book a preliminary yard inspection. This will ensure that implementing your idea will meet the program specifications laid out by the Town. 

      • The xeriscaping project must be a minimum of 46 m² in area for a residential property.

      • Please apply BEFORE you've started your landscape project if possible. Already started? Apply anyways and we can chat about whether or not your project is eligible. If your landscaping is underway or complete, you may be asked to make changes to your landscape (to comply with bylaws) in order to qualify. 

      • 40% of the landscaped area needs to consist of drought tolerant plants (mature size taken into account).

      • If the yard area is less than 46 m² , but the intent is to xeriscape the entire area (e.g. whole front yard or whole back yard), the project would still be eligible for the program.
         
    3. Develop a landscape design.
      • The landscaping company or homeowner must provide a landscape plan that calculates the area of the plants at their mature size, ensuring that it meets the 40% criteria. Tree size is calculated at 25% of mature size.
         
    4. Submit landscape design plan to the Town for approval
      • Finalized landscape design must be submitted within 2 weeks of the yard inspection with the Town representative.
         
    5. After approval is received, start your project! Applicants have until September 1 to complete the project from the date of the inspection.
       
    6. Once complete, book a post-inspection with the Town staff member and complete the online water conservation xeriscape rebate application (link will be sent via email prior to inspection).
       
    7. Got irrigation? You are encouraged to book an irrigation assessment with the Town after completion of the project so that we can help you continue to conserve water. 
       
    8. Upon application approval, patiently wait for your rebate cheque to arrive in the mail in 4-6 week's time or sign up for an electronic funds transfer.

     


    Ensuring Success

    Like you, we want this process to be as smooth as possible. For a successful xeriscape project process, please keep the following things in mind.

    Items eligible for the rebate are:

    • drought tolerant/deer resistant plants (for suggestions, see Drought Tolerant Plant List)
    • soil amendment
    • mulch, turf removal equipment rental (DIY projects)
    • landscape fabric and basic edging
    • install/delivery costs

    Items not eligible for the rebate are:

    • non-drought tolerant plants, or artificial turf
    • hardscaping such as concrete, boulders, pathways, retaining walls, or patio stones
    • arbors, pergolas, or decking.

    A few FYI's:

    • If turf is part of your backyard xeriscape plan, it must be a TWCA certified drought tolerant turf and cover less than 1/3 of the total yard area being landscaped.
    • DIY'ers, please keep your receipts for all of these items. Please label and highlight purchased plants (pot-sizes and quantities), mulch, and dirt, etc. on receipts. It works to your benefit if we know exactly what you purchased and at what cost.
    • Ask your landscaper for a fully itemized invoice and receipt to provide clarity on landscaping materials and costs. 
    • We want your plants to survive and thrive as much as you do! Please give plants a mulch depth of 2 inches over the entire xeriscape area, and a depth of 4 inches around tree and root area. Ensure that mulch is not touching the trunk of the tree, but is 3-4 inches away from the trunk.

    Why is creating a xeriscape landscape important? 

    1. The Town of Okotoks wants to encourage and reward you for your water conservation efforts!
    2. With growing demands on water supply and potential droughts, it is everyone’s responsibility to rethink appropriate water use. As up to 30% of summer residential water is utilized on lawns and gardens, xeriscaping can play a significant role in reducing potable (treated) water consumption. 

    Why should I have an irrigation assessment if I have an irrigation system in place?

    A xeriscape landscape needs less water than a traditional landscape. Participating in an irrigation assessment (after May 15) will help to optimize your irrigation system so that it provides water when and where your new landscape needs it. Save water, and protect your investment!

    GenernalAire Water Savor™ Controller FAQs

     

    What is the Water Savor™ controller?

    The Water Savor™ controller is a unit that attaches to a flow-through humidifier system found on a home’s furnace. The controller conserves the amount of water the system uses while still meeting a home’s humidity needs (as recommended by Health Canada).

    How does it work?

    The Water Savor™ powers on when the humidifier needs water. In a traditional humidifier, water runs continually through the system until the set humidity level is reached. The Water Savor™ controller senses and delivers only the amount of water needed, avoiding excessive water use.

    How much water can it save?

    Using a Water Savor™ controller can reduce humidifier water use by at least 50% and up to 90%.

    The Water Savor™ controller can be installed on any model/brand of flow-through humidifier. In order to qualify for the Water Conservation Rebate Program it needs to be installed by a professional. 

    Water Savor FAQ sheet

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Last Updated: July 17, 2023