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 principals. 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 the design and interpretive signage. EBMUD 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.
  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:
  • 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 complete the application and maintenance agreement provided below and an EBMUD Representative will contact you for an in-person site visit.

All in-person site visits are temporarily on hold in response to COVID-19. Water Conservation staff are doing our best to continue offering services during this time and are available for phone consultations.

When the application is complete and the maintenance agreement is signed, please mail both forms to:

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

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Document Type Size
Application PDF 1.6 MB
Maintenance Agreement PDF 1.5 MB