WaterSmart garden grants

Sustainable garden design saves water and other resources.

A sustainable garden design saves water.

EBMUD awards grants to community organizations to create publicly accessible demonstration gardens that showcase water conservation and sustainable landscaping principles. Grants are also available for educational events or workshops held at demonstration gardens. 

Award levels

Awards range from $500 to $15,000. 

Eligibility requirements

Please read the eligibility requirements below before applying for a grant.

  1. Gardens must be located within the EBMUD service area and have an active water account or other water source.
  2. Grants are for EBMUD pre-approved projects or events only. Awards are not retroactive.
  3. The garden must have safe public access and high visibility.
  4. Conservation of water and other natural resources must be the clear message through design and interpretive signage. EBMUD's support of the project will be acknowledged in signage.
  5. Grant funds will cover up to 50% of project cost. Labor costs are not eligible.
  6. Grant funds will cover up to 100% of irrigation equipment costs.
  7. Grant funds will cover up to 50% of plant costs.
  8. Applicants must commit to ongoing operation and maintenance of their demonstration project for a minimum of five years. Grant awards are subject to reimbursement to EBMUD in the event that gardens are not maintained per the agreement or are removed prematurely.
  9. Whenever possible, a demonstration site must utilize current sustainable landscaping principles, including the following:
  • California native and summer-dry climate plants
  • Low-volume irrigation methods, such as drip
  • Weather-based irrigation controllers
  • Recycled or reclaimed materials
  • Permeable hardscape

How to apply

Applications are accepted year round. Awards are paid only upon completion of the project. Once you establish eligibility, please email both the application and the maintenance agreement to waterconservation@ebmud.com, or mail them to the following address:

WaterSmart Garden Grant Program
Water Conservation Division, EBMUD
P.O. Box 24055, MS 109
Oakland, CA 94623

An EBMUD Representative will contact you to set up an in-person site visit.

Application Forms