Castle Rock will be offering $200,000 in water rebates to residents who use certain water conservation methods, such as Coloradoscaped yards or low-flow toilets.
On March 7, the town council approved increasing water rebates to customers and investing more in the rebate programs in an effort to encourage conservation. The $200,000 set aside for rebates is a 38% increase in the funding over last year, according to Castle Rock Water Director Mark Marlowe.
Marlowe said water conservation is a crucial element to sustaining the town’s water supply. The goal is for the town to use 100 gallons per capita per day. Currently, Castle Rock uses around 115 gallons per capita per day.
“We want to reduce current and future demand on our water system,” Marlowe said.
The town’s water rebates are first come, first serve until the funds are gone.
Town rebates for Coloradoscaping yards will increase from $1.20 per square foot to $1.50 per squarefoot for both residential and non-residential property.
“Some of (the reason for raising rebates) is in response to the economy and the increased costs that people are seeing and some of it is in response to trying to increase the incentive,” Marlowe said.
Similarly, the town will increase rebates for installing low-flow toilets from $100 to $150, with a maximum rebate of $600, and offer up to a $200 rebate for using a whole home water monitoring system. The town also offers a $5 rebate for rotary nozzles and will discontinue its smart irrigation controller rebate.
In addition to increasing water rebates, the town council also approved the Water Use Management Plan and the Water Efficiency Master Plan for 2023.
The Water Efficiency Master Plan was last updated in 2015 and the town has since completed multiple goals named in the plan, including banning Kentucky bluegrass in future residential builds, expanding the Coloradoscape rebate program and installing conservation systems on town properties.
“I think we’ve made a huge amount of progress,” Marlowe said.
The 2023 plan updated the goals to reflect the town’s current efforts to increase water sustainability, such as implementing advanced metering infrastructure, hiring a landscaper to help with the Coloradoscape program and increasing greywater use in town. Another possibility is requiring new residential builds to have low-flow toilets.
Marlowe added he will be monitoring the recently approved town policy restricting new builds to Coloradoscaped front yards to see how it impacts water usage.
Marlowe said the town’s water use has plateaued around 115 gallons per capita per day in the past few years and he hopes the new changes will move the needle down again.