Council Memo

Adopt Resolution No. 2019-1706 Declaring the document titled "Chapter 3-10: Water Conservation Code" a public record, and Ordinance No. 2019-1676 Amending Title III, Chapter 3-10.


Department:Public WorksSponsors:
Category:Ordinance Adoption


  1. Printout
  2. Ordinance No. 2019-1676
  3. Resolution No. 2019-1706 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  4. Chapter 3-10 Water Conservation Code Redlines

Document Comments

Recommended Action: 1) MOVE to adopt Resolution No. 2019-1706; and 2) MOVE to adopt Ordinance No. 2019-1676.


Item Summary


This item is an amendment to Prescott City Code, Chapter 3-10:  Water Conservation Code.  The update includes changes to the rebate program and incentives for non-sewered areas.




The City of Prescott has been a regional leader in water conservation for almost 30 years. The Water Conservation Code has been in place since 1992, with varying degrees of effectiveness over the years.  New technologies, WaterSense appliances and fixtures as well as changes to Building Codes have all contributed to greater water conservation awareness and savings. 

On May 28, 2019, Gary Woodard from Water Resources Consulting presented to Council “Water Budgets, Forecasts, and Scenarios”. Within the analysis, Woodard showed water sent to non-sewered areas and water used outdoors was the greatest water loss for the City of Prescott.

In order to increase water savings for money spent, the water rebate/incentive program will be updated with the following:

·         Toilets with 1.0 gallons per flush or less will be rebated $100.

·         An additional $50 incentive will be provided for water customers that use septic systems and apply for a toilet rebate.

·         Smart irrigation timers will be rebated at $75.

·         Rainwater harvesting cisterns will be rebated at $0.50/gallon of storage, and an additional passive rainwater harvesting system rebate was added with a rebate of $5/square foot of basin.

·         Turf removal will increase from $0.25/square foot of turf removed to $0.50/square foot of turf removed.

·         Unused or low monetary rebates were eliminated.

This program will be heavily marketed to increase public awareness. It will be available to all City water users including those within the Chino Valley area and unincorporated Yavapai County.


Financial Impact


Funding in the amount of $40,000 is available in the Water Fund.


Meeting History

Jul 9, 2019 3:02 PM  City Council Voting Meeting
draft Draft

Water Resources Specialist Leah Hubbard provided a presentation to Council regarding FY20 Water Conservation Program proposed updates. The current program has been successful, and gallons per capita per day (GPCPD) have continued to decrease so this will be an enhancement to what we already have.

Proposed Changes:

* New Toilet Rebate - $100 rebate for 1.0 gallon per flush or 0.8 gallon per flush and additional $50 incentive for septic customers

* Smart Timer Irrigation Controllers - $75 rebate for installation

* Rainwater Harvesting

- $.050/gallon of storage for Active Rainwater Systems (cisterns) will remain the same

- $5/square foot of treatment area for Passive Rainwater Systems would be an addition

* Turf Removal - increased to $0.50/square foot

* Urinals - $50 per urinal will remain the same and the addition of “hybrid” urinals at 1/qt per flush

* Washing Machines - these are being added based on recommendations from Gary Woodard and the Tucson Model

- $200 for new installations based on efficiency list

- $200 rebate for replacements based on efficiency list

Ms. Hubbard stated that there is planned marketing to push the updates to this program which will include social media and the City website as well as a rebate education card which will be distributed and quarterly information releases as well.

Councilman Goode stated that he is a strong proponent for rebates and conservation measures and he supports these rebates. He feels that increasing turf removal is a good idea, however, his is concerned about Passive Rain Water rebate in that it is uncapped other than $2500 for life of ownership, he has spoken with sales managers in new developments as well as landscaping experts who do this type of installation and it is his understanding that a typical small lot would run $2-3k to install, so it would pay for as much as 50% of the installation. His proposal would be that this portion of the policy be amended to coincide with cisterns and be capped at $500 per project with a reduction to the rebate amount per square foot at $3 rather than $5 and see how well that works.

Ms. Hubbard commented that the program is based off of Federal Government progams which give approximately $2,000 per project for Passive Rainwater Systems, and staff also took into consideration studies in the Valley which also show this type of an incentive as an investment because it is eliminating the need for future infrastructure. She said that this rebate looks different from our other because it is broader in its benefits that it could bring to the City.

Councilman Sischka asked for clarification on the Washing Machine Rebate, and if a new build would also get the $200 rebate, and if so what are we gaining from that. It could end up costing us much more.

Ms. Hubbard said that the Washing Machine Rebate is based on Mr. Woodard's analysis in the Tucson area, which showed this to be beneficial. However, she said this could be amended to only apply to replacement washers in older homes if Council were to prefer that. She discussed the funds that are available for rebates/incentives, which is capped at $40,000. We have not reached that since 2009, in fact we generally give approximately $15,000 per year.

Mayor Pro Tem Orr stated that she is very pleased to see the Washing Machines Rebate included, she also commented on the importance of educating the public on the GPCPD.

Ms. Hubbard also said that if funding for rebates/incentives were to run out the program could be readdressed.

Mayor Mengarelli stated that he hears from Council there are two major issues which seem to be the Passive Rainwater and Washing Machine Rebates. He asked staff what the timetable is on this?

Ms. Hubbard said that she would like to start as soon as possible so the information can be distributed and the new rebates/incentives can be in line with the FY20 budget.

Councilman Sischka said that if the funding is limited to $40,000 then he is ok with the incentive for the washing machines in new homes as well.

Councilman Goode reiterated the cap of rebates for Passive Rainwater Systems at $500 per project and reduce rebate per square foot to $3.

Public Works Director Craig Dotseth addressed Council stating that he is good with the idea of capping the Passive Rainwater as suggested as it is a new concept and it is important to ensure that we don’t use up all of our funds towards that. He also commented that new build rebates versus replacement rebates on washing machines would be one rate for city customers and one rate for septic customers in a manner similar to the toilet rebate.

Councilman Blair commented that he would like to see the washing machine rebate apply to replacements only.

Council further discussed and came to consensus on the following amendments to the Policy Changes:

* Washing Machines - Replacements appliances only $200 for City Customer and $250 for Septic Customer

* Passive Rainwater System - Capped at $500/project and $3 per square foot of treatment area

MOVER:Steve Blair, Councilman
SECONDER:Steve Sischka, Councilman
AYES:Greg Mengarelli, Billie Orr, Steve Blair, Phil Goode, Jim Lamerson, Alexa Scholl, Steve Sischka