Resilient Together

Moulton Niguel Water District has partnered with customers over the years to implement water efficiencies that have made us resilient. Because of the District’s innovative programs and investment in those programs, it is well-positioned to provide safe, reliable water to its customers even in challenging times. But, we can do more. From water-efficient tips to rebates and workshops, find information on how to make every drop count.

We’re In This Together:

As the state faces drought conditions, Moulton Niguel is doing our part to help customers save water. In recent years, we’ve upgraded to smart meters that identify water leaks, expanded money-saving rebate programs that replace inefficient appliances, and organized one of the most successful turf replacement programs in California.

In partnership with customers, we’ve conserved more than 250 million gallons of water annually. This conservation has impacts not just at home, but throughout the state.

We’ve had many water efficiency successes. But we can do more. Explore these programs and resources to help save water – and save yourself money!

 Are we in a drought emergency now?   

Governor Newsom has declared a drought state of emergency for 50 of 58 counties in California. While Orange County is not among those counties, we do rely on water from the Colorado River Basin and Northern California water systems, which are experiencing drought conditions. We are asking our customers to do their part by staying within their water budget.  

 What are MNWD’s plans regarding the drought?   

Moulton Niguel has partnered with you, our customers, to boost our drought resilience. We work to ensure a clean and reliable water supply and are monitoring the drought conditions in our state carefully.   

While we can’t predict supply issues or future mandates the state may impose, we are confident that we will be able to provide a reliable water supply for our customers to carry out daily activities.    

We encourage you to stay within your water budget and take actions such as learning about our NatureScape program to ensure your landscape is drought resilient.  

Here are a few examples of how we’ve prepared and built resilience:  

  • Moulton Niguel promotes the use of recycled water, which meets 25% of the District’s peak supply needs.  
  • We’ve made investments to ensure the reliability of the water supply and developed regional partnerships for emergency interties with neighboring water agencies.  
  • Implemented water-budget based rates 
  • Provided education to residents, commercial customers and HOAs on water efficiency 
  • Removed nearly 6 million square feet of turf, representing more than 500 million gallons of water. This accounts for more than 25% of all turf removed in Orange County during the last drought. 
  • Upgraded to smart meters, which help identify leaks 
  • Provided customers with rebates for replacing inefficient water appliances 


Are there water restrictions now?   

Governor Newsom has asked Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent. There are no mandatory restrictions at this time. However, we do encourage customers to continue to use water efficiently and stay within their water budget.   


Are we going to have days when we can/can’t water plants/yard? What will my watering days be during the drought?   

The District does not require customers to limit watering to specific days during the week. We don’t know what actions the state may take in the future; however, during the last drought, the state allowed Moulton Niguel to rely on its own water efficiency methods rather than being subjected to restrictions imposed in other areas.   

What stage of our Water Shortage Contingency Plan are we in?   

Moulton Niguel’s  Water Shortage Contingency Plan has six stages. The plan has not been activated at this time.   

How can I help? 

Here are a few ways that you can help conserve: 

  • Avoid watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Evaporation peaks during daylight hours, so watering when it’s cool and not as bright will help your soil and plants retain moisture.   
  • Replace high water need vegetation, like turf, with California native and drought-tolerant plants to reduce the overall water needs of your landscape. Take advantage of the NatureScapeTurf-to-Native Garden Program or the Turf Replacement Program to update your landscape. The rebate for both programs just increased from $2 per sq. foot to $4 per sq. foot.   
  • Pair the turf removal incentive with other outdoor rebates, such as the weather-based irrigation controller rebate, to upgrade your irrigation system and start managing water according to the weather.   
  • Visit learn how to conserve  
  • Receive a personalized in-person or virtual home savings survey from one of our experts. These surveys take just 45 minutes to complete. 

We thank you for all you have already done to help conserve water. We encourage you to stay within your water budget and heed the governor’s request to cut water use where possible. 

A few additional ideas:    

*Use a “Smart Irrigation Controller”   

*Only run your clothes washer when full.   

*Sign up for Leak Alerts at 


How will my bill be impacted during the drought?    

As of today, bills will remain the same. Moulton Niguel is proud to maintain the lowest average water bill in south Orange County.  Customers who use water efficiently and stay within their water budget will continue to pay the District’s lowest water rates.  This fall, the District will review its rates, as we are required by law to evaluate the cost of providing service and account for any increased costs. This typically happens on a 4-year cycle.  All rate changes must be approved in a public board meeting by the Board of Directors. Every customer will receive a notice in the mail before that meeting takes place. You will also have the opportunity to share your comments with the District prior to that meeting. 

Can we hose-down (power wash) our hardscape such as driveways, patios, etc.? Is this allowed during a drought period? 

No. The District’s water conservation best practices are in effect at all times. This is only permitted to alleviate safety or sanitary hazards. If needed for safety reasons, use   

  • a hand-held bucket or similar container   
  • a hand-held hose equipped with a functioning, positive self-closing shut-off device or   
  • a low-volume, high-pressure cleaning machine equipped to recycle any water used. 


 Can we wash our cars in our driveway? What are the restrictions? Do we have to go to a commercial car wash?  

Yes, you may wash your car in your driveway provided you have a shutoff nozzle to ensure water is not running continuously. Customers are encouraged to be aware of their water budget for all water use activities. Information on your water budget is available on your bill. It is recommended that customers use a commercial carwash to wash their vehicles so the wash water will not run off their property and into the storm drain. The dirty water used at car washes is recycled and reused numerous times, making it a more efficient way to clean a dirty vehicle.  


Will I be charged the Tier 5 (highest) rate if I go over my water budget?  Is there an increased penalty for going over budget?   

Right now, customers are charged at Tier 5 if they exceed 150% of the monthly water budget. Any change to that threshold must be approved at a public meeting by a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Residential rebates and programs are available to help you save money and make your home more water-efficient.


  Weather-Based Smart Sprinkler Timer (AKA Smart Timer) – Up to $330 per controller

  Soil Moisture Sensor Controller– Up to $330 per controller with a sensor

  Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles – Up to $6 per nozzle / Minimum of 30 nozzles

  Rain Barrels & Cisterns – Up to $35 per Barrel / Cisterns start at $250

  Turf Removal – Up to $4 per square foot *artificial turf is not eligible for a turf replacement incentive 

  NatureScape Turf-to-Native Garden Program (Turf Removal) – Up to $4 per square foot *artificial turf is not eligible for a turf replacement incentive 



 High-Efficiency Clothes Washer – Up to $285

  Premium High-Efficiency Toilet – Up to $40 / 4-Liters (1.1 gallons per flush) or less



  Home Savings Surveys -Moulton Niguel’s Water Efficiency team is available to visit your home, review your outdoor watering practices, and recommend easy ways to save water and money! The visit is FREE and only takes about 45 minutes.

  NatureScape Turf-to-Native Garden Program – NatureScape is a direct-install Turf-to-Native Garden Program that helps customers replace turf with a native, low water-use landscape. NatureScape participants receive free pre-qualification landscape and irrigation assessment, 50% off design fees and $4 per square foot of turf that is replaced. *artificial turf is not eligible for a turf replacement incentive 

For more information about our rebates and programs please visit



Commercial rebates and programs are available to help you save money and make your home more water-efficient.


  Weather-Based Smart Sprinkler Timer (AKA Smart Timer) – Up to $75 per station

  Soil Moisture Sensor Controller– Up to $75 per controller

  Rotating Sprinkler Nozzles – Up to $6 per nozzle / Minimum of 30 nozzles

  Large Rotary Spray Nozzles  – Up to $28 per set / Minimum of 8

  Cisterns – Starts at $250 per cistern

  Turf Removal – Up to $4 per square foot *artificial turf is not eligible for a turf replacement incentive 

  Drip Irrigation – Up to $0.70 per square foot

  In-Stem Flow Regulator – Up to $1 per Regulator

  Cooling Tower Conductivity & pH Controllers – Up to $1,225 per Conductivity Controller
Up to $2,750 per pH Controller



  Premium High-Efficiency Toilet – Up to $40 / 4-Liters (1.1 gallons per flush) or less

  Ultra-Low and Zero Water Urinals – Up to $200 per Urinal

  Plumbing Flow Control Valve – $5 per valve / Minimum of 10 valves

  Connectionless Food Steamers – Up to $985 per compartment

  Air-Cooled Ice Machine – Up to $1,750

  Dry Vacuum Pumps – Up to $125 per 0.5 HP / Maximum of 2 HP

  Laminar Flow Restrictors – Up to $10 per Restrictor / Minimum of 10


  Water Savings Incentive Program – The Water Savings Incentive Program (WSIP) provides financial incentives for customized water efficiency projects. Contact MNWD’s Water Efficiency Department if you have additional questions at (949) 448-4025. *Customizable Commercial Incentives

  Free Landscape Irrigation Survey– A certified landscape irrigation auditor will survey and provide written recommendations for qualifying non-residential properties greater than one acre at no cost. *For landscapes greater than one acre

  Public Agency Landscape Program – To encourage agencies that have not already installed water-efficient landscape equipment to do so, SoCal Water$mart offers enhanced incentives paid up-front for public agencies to install water-efficient landscape devices at their facilities and on their grounds.


For more information about our commercial rebates and programs visit