Wichita may bring back water rebate plan

Watering lawn

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita officials are again considering a rebate plan aimed at helping customers save water.

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to authorize $450,000 for the rebate program.

The council approved $1 million a year ago for a similar plan that provided rebates for water-efficient appliances, low-flow toilets, rain barrels and other water-saving measures.

While last year’s plan was limited to homeowners, anyone who pays a water bill, including renters and businesses, would be eligible for this year’s plan, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1o2wNU0 ). The new program would also add items, including water-efficient urinals and rain sensors for irrigation systems.

More than 2,700 customers participated during the six months the plan was in effect last year. The funds for this year’s program would come from the $600,000 that wasn’t spent last year, said Ben Nelson, strategy manager for public works and utilities. He said the $450,000 that would be allotted this year should be closer to covering the expected demand.

The program is estimated to save 250,000 gallons of water a day, which is about 0.44 percent of the city’s total water usage.

Under the program most water-saving items would be eligible for a $100 rebate. If approved, the new rebate program would begin July 1 and continue through the end of 2014 or until the $450,000 is spent, Nelson said.

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