The Placer County Water Agency has begun three new water efficiency rebate programs. They include rebates for lawn replacement with non-water consuming materials or water efficient plants, for point-of-use hot water heater installations, and for addition of whole house hot water circulation systems. The rebates were announced at the Nov. 20 meeting of the water agency’s board of directors. The rebates allow customers to save water and save money and are given as credits on customer water bills. The agency already offers rebates for the replacement of older model toilets and washing machines with new water-efficient models. The new rebates are as follows: • Lawn replacement: $1 per square foot up to 1000 square feet for sod replacement with non-water consuming material, such as chips, bark or gravel. 50 cents per square foot up to 1000 square feet for sod replacement with water efficient plants. • Hot water heaters: $50 rebates for the installation of point-of-use hot water heaters. Estimated savings of 3600 gallons of water per year. • Hot water circulation: $150 rebates for installation of whole house hot water circulation systems. Estimated annual savings of 10,950 gallons. Water agency board chairman Mike Lee applauded the program. “In view of what’s happening around the state today, it’s really nice to see the agency taking a proactive approach to water efficiency,” he said. In other business, directors approved a combined 2009 PCWA budget of $82.4 million The overall budget includes the Water System at $56.1 million, the Power System at $13 million and the Agency Wide budget at $13.3 million. They also heard a presentation from Stewart Feldman of Stewart Feldman Consulting on the efficient water use and recycling technologies being used by modern car washes. He said today’s new car washes can use about one-third the amount of water used in a home car wash and will also limit the amount of residue that washes off onto the watershed. The next meeting of the water agency board of directors will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 8, at the PCWA Business Center, 144 Ferguson Road, in Auburn. The board meetings are open to the public. For more information, call (530) 823-4850.