Only Pioneer Provides Rainwater Systems with Long-Lasting Storage
California Senate Bill No. 558, or as it was first known as Prop 72, passed and was approved by the Governor on January 31, 2018. This act added and repealed Section 74.8 of the California Revenue and Taxation Code to exclude property taxes to new construction of rainwater harvesting systems.
Starting January 1, 2019:
– Newly created rainwater systems can be excluded from property tax reassessment with filing a claim
– New homes built with rainwater systems can apply for this exclusion, as long as it’s the first home purchaser and it hasn’t been yet claimed
– Tax incentives for rainwater systems are being offered to enhance the state’s water conservation goals
The Bill is effective January 1, 2019, to promote the use of rainwater systems as a sustainable water source for both homes and businesses. The property tax exclusion applies only until the building changes ownership however the first purchaser of a home with a rainwater system installed can also claim the exclusion when the owner-builder incorporates the system. This applies to the first homeowner as long as the owner-builder had never intended to occupy or use the building, and did not yet claim the exclusion so that the purchaser buys the building before it’s assessed to the owner-builder.
To claim the property tax exemption for new rainwater systems, taxpayers must file a claim with County tax assessors and provide any documentation necessary to identify the value attributable to the rainwater system, including any rebates. The assessor evaluates the claim and subtracts the value of the rainwater system from the purchase price to determine its new value for property taxes.
This bill specifies that a “rain water capture system is a facility designed to capture, retain and store rain water flowing off a building rooftop or other man-made above the ground hard surface for subsequent onsite use.”
Rainwater systems with Pioneer Water Tanks work well in California since they can be installed with options to add functionality to your systems, like the addition of firefighting nozzles and adapters. Pioneer Water Tanks store the rainwater within the BPA-free, NSF-61 certified for drinking water AQUALINER® Fresh tank liner. The liner storing the water is then protected within the Zincalume Steel tank body that is certified to withstand fire immersion and lasts without corrosion 200% longer than galvanized steel.
Pioneer Water Tanks are the longest-lasting rainwater storage tank, and we include our 20-year warranty to back it. Our systems are delivered in a crate for onsite installation, even in the most rural areas in California.
More Resources about Rainwater Harvesting in California:
The City of San Diego Guide to Rainwater Harvesting
The California Water Code, section 1201, defines water subject to appropriation and authorizes the State Water Board to grant permits for water flowing in any natural channel. Rooftops are not a natural channel, therefore harvest of rainwater from rooftops does not require a water right permit. The State Water Board encourages methods of water collection or diversion, such as rooftop rainwater harvest, that reduce demand on streams and reduce water quality problems associated with stormwater runoff.
Serving Santa Cruz County and Beyond with Sustainable Water Systems
The Watermark Rainwater Harvesting team provides systems for residential and commercial buildings in Santa Cruz County and beyond. The goal at Watermark is to design and build sustainable water systems that are efficient and easy to maintain.
“We are committed to helping our customers Design, Build and understand the benefits of Rainwater Harvesting and Greywater systems while creating and inhabiting a resilient sustainable environment for the future.” – Mick Merrell, owner of Watermark Rainwater Harvesting
A recent project of Watermark can be found at the Central Home Supply store in Scotts Valley, California. The system uses the metal building roof as the collection space with a gutter system that conveys the rainwater into the 3,000-gallon capacity Pioneer Water Tank.
The rainwater can be used for irrigation for Central Home Supply and is a clean, renewable water source. With only one inch of rain on a small, 2,000-square foot roof, you can collect around 1,200 gallons of clean rainwater. There are many residents in Santa Cruz County that collect a lot more capacity during the rainy season so that they can use it for the rest of the year.
One of the initial calculations that Watermark provides is the estimated about of rainwater that can be collected from a building roof.
Santa Cruz County recommends using rainwater systems as a sustainable water source. A building permit isn’t required in Santa Cruz County for rainwater systems if the following situations are in place:
– The system is only used for outdoor, non-spray irrigation purposes – The rainwater storage tank has a capacity of less than 5,000-gallons – The ratio of height to diameter (or width) of the rainwater tank doesn’t exceed 2 to 1. – The rainwater harvesting system doesn’t require power. (Gravity alone can usually supply enough pressure to 5,000-gallon systems). – The system doesn’t mix the rainwater with a different water source like utility water.
Watermark Rainwater Harvesting has a lot of experience working with the County Building department requirements for rainwater system permitting if needed. They can supply an optional engineer-stamped package for the permit where required.
California’s water shortage faces many obstacles that have promoted many unique solutions, including rainwater harvesting. The amount of water available underground varies widely, affecting the state’s farms, businesses, and residents with cost and availability.
In response to the ongoing water crisis, State Senator Steve Glazer (D-7) sponsored the amendment of the California Proposition 72, Rainwater Capture Systems Excluded from Property Tax Assessments Amendment. The Amendment passed this June 2018, with 83.28% of the vote. (Link to Prop 72)
This Amendment exempts the construction or addition of rain-capture systems from property-tax reassessment, on or after January 1, 2019. Similar financial incentives have been enacted in ten other states that have seen sustainable results. In Tucson, Arizona the Tucson Water Utilities’ research found that 720 homeowners in their rebate program saved an average of 748 gallons each, per month with rainwater harvesting. (Link to article)
Rainwater harvesting systems use a building roof to convey water into a storage system for later beneficial use. Stored rainwater can be used for domestic and potable use in California. The State of California AB-1750 Rainwater Capture Act of 2012 (link to AB-1750) provides that rainwater captured off of rooftops doesn’t require a water right permit.
“California AB-1750 (c) Rainwater and stormwater, captured and properly managed, can contribute significantly to local water supplies by infiltrating and recharging groundwater aquifers, thereby increasing available supplies of drinking water. In addition, the onsite capture, storage, and use of rainwater for non-potable use significantly reduce demand for potable water, contributing to the statutory objective of a 20-percent reduction in urban per capita water use in California by December 31, 2020.” (Link to AB-1750)
The Proposition 72 Amendment furthers this water initiative by giving a slight financial incentive, or at the very least, doesn’t make installing a rainwater harvesting system more of a property tax cost. According to State research, there may be a minor reduction in annual property tax revenues to local governments but nothing that could be noticeable (Link).
Recently, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law with the goal of reducing water consumption.
“In preparation for the next drought and our changing environment, we must use our precious resources wisely,” Brown said in a statement. “We have efficiency goals for energy and cars—and now we have them for water.”
Not only will California residents face stricter utility water restrictions, but also stricter water rights with fewer permits offered for groundwater sources. Hopefully, this will mean that along with this new Amendment, rainwater harvesting will become even more of a viable solution to sourcing water sustainably.