Desert friendly Xeriscape Conversion

Replace turf grass with Desert friendly xeriscape and receive money back on your water bill.

commercial Desert friendly xeriscape Conversion Rebates

Water Authority commercial, multi-family and institutional customers who convert their customers landscapes to (desert friendly xeriscapes) and use drip irrigation can qualify for a $2.00 per square foot rebate.

Must meet all program requirements:

  1. The rebate area of your new landscape must have 50 percent coverage (at maturity) of qualifying low- to medium-water-use plants, and the soil between and beneath all plants must be covered with at least three inches of mulch (organic mulch, gravel etc.)
  2. Several conditions must be met in order to qualify for the rebates, including approval of plans in advance by a Water Conservation Desert friendly landscapes Inspector.
  3. Receipts for plant purchases, irrigation equipment, soil amendments, or landscape contractor (if used), shall be provided at the final inspection.

Save $2.00 per square ft!.



  • Do you have an existing operating SPRAY irrigation system on your site? 

  • Do you have grass turf on your site? (Rebates cannot be give to work that is already complete.)

  • If you answered YES to the above questions then Go to Step 1.

  • Got more questions? Call 842-9287 OPTION #4 to learn more or check out the Rebate Requirements listed in the blue box on this page.  


Draw a simple landscape plan, or submit a plan designed by a professional. Use the approved waterwise plants from our Xeriscaping Guide plant list. List each plant (using the scientific name) and rebate allowance points on the application.


Click here to set up your online application.


 Before calling be sure you have set up and filled out your online application. Then call 505-289-3026 to schedule the initial inspection at your property with our xeriscape inspector. Initial inspections occur between 8am and 2pm Monday through Friday. Please allow one to two weeks for availability.


Once your online application has been approved, you may begin your project. Funding will be reserved for the anticipated amount of your rebate. You have six months after your application is approved to complete your project. If your project takes longer than six months, you may apply for a project extension provided funds are still available.


Have hard copies of material receipts or contractor’s final paid invoice available at time of final inspection. Following final inspection and application approval, the ABCWUA will apply the rebate credit to your water bill. Your rebate should appear on your water bill one to two billing cycles after your form is processed.

How to Apply?

Click HERE to apply.

The Water Authority is pleased to provide an online application for rebates.

Once you have registered and submitted your online application, you will be able to conveniently track your rebate.

You will need the property address and Water Authority account number as printed on the bill.



Smart Controller

Desert Friendly Xeriscape Conversion Rebate

Convert your high-water-use landscape with desert friendly xeriscape and receive a rebate. Follow the steps above to participate. When participating in the Desert friendly xeriscape rebate programs, you’ll also be able to get rebates for rental equipment, compost, and irrigation rebates. Click here to learn more about irrigation rebates. 

Get $2.00 square foot for every square foot of qualifying

Get $2.00 square foot for commercial rebates per every square foot of qualifying

Xeriscape Conversion Inspection

Pre-Desert Friendly Xeriscape Conversion Consultation

Need advice on where to start? Contact the Water Authority Xeriscape Specialist at

Desert friendly XERISCAPE conversion participants Quality for additional rebates listed below

We know there is a lot involved with converting a high-water-use landscape to a desert friendly landscape. Take advantage of the additional rebates listed below and over on the Irrigation rebates page.

Sod Cutter

Get 25% off the cost of renting equipment for removal of grass (e.g. sodcutter, backhoe or Bobcat) up to $500.

Rental Equipment

We understand turf conversions to desert friendly landscapes can require specific tools to get the job done, we’d like to help support you in your conversion by giving your a rebate for that equipment you may rent.

Mulch Rebate

Get 25% off the cost of bulk organic mulch up to $500.

Bulk Organic Mulch

Not only is organic mulch aesthetically appealing, it helps to protect your trees and landscape by keeping moisture where it belongs in the root zone. Mulch promotes increased moisture retention in the soil, and encourages healthy root establishment, while reducing weeds.

Rebate Requirements

Please review the following requirements:

1. Irrigation water shall be provided by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority.

2. Any turf grass removed shall be designated high water use, according to our Xeriscaping Guide plant list, and currently watered with spray-type irrigation.

3. Fifty percent of the project rebate area shall be covered by plants, as they appear at maturity. Select qualifying Rainwater, low, and medium water usage plants from our Xeriscaping Guide plant list, and claim the mature plant area (referred to as rebate allowance). Existing plants within the area of turf removal, such as trees, may be incorporated into the design and contribute to the rebate allowance total, provided they are on the Xeriscaping Guide plant list, and are not designated high water use.

4. Spray irrigation is not permitted in the rebate area. Existing sprinklers shall be converted to a drip, bubbler system, or hand watered. If you hand water, plants must be one gallon or larger container stock. Areas watered with sprinklers, including micro-sprinklers, will not disqualify your project, but that area will be excluded from the rebate calculation.

5. The soil between the plants shall be covered with a minimum of 3 inches mulch. Common mulches are gravel, crusher fines or woodchips, but other materials may qualify. Impervious plastic is not permitted. Bulk organic mulch rebate available for xeriscape participants. 

6. Commercial Customers qualifying landscapes will receive a maximum of $2.00 for every square foot of high water use turf grass that is converted.

7. Receipts for plant purchase, irrigation equipment, mulch, or a landscape contractor (if used), shall be provided at final inspection.

Desert friendly landscapes


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Contact Information

Water Conservation Program
P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568

505-842-WATR  Option 4

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P.O. Box 568
Albuquerque, NM 87103-0568