REDWOOD CITY (KPIX 5) — The finishing touches are being put on a plan to give people a rebate of up to $100 on their water bills.

All you have to start with is one barrel for your water collection system and you could get money back.

From his roof, Redwood City resident Eric McCrystal can collect 450 gallons of rainwater. So when he heard about the new rebate program for runoff, he got excited.

“I think that’s great,” McCrystal said. “Everyone should be collecting water.”

If you show a receipt for a 50 gallon water barrel and submit a photo showing how it’s set up to collect rainwater from your roof, you could get up to a $100 rebate.

A single family home can get a rebate for up to two barrels, and four barrels for multi-family homes or commercial properties.

One barrel represents less than half of the 129 gallons the water agency’s average customer uses each day. Officials are hoping the rain barrel rebate will encourage new conservation habits.

“Roughly 30-50 percent of all residential water use is outdoors so even 50 gallons can make a contribution,” said Michael Hurley, water resource manager at the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency.

The rebate could start as early as this Friday. Water districts with the Bay Area Supply and Conservation Agency, which includes most of San Mateo County, parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties, can take advantage of the rebate program.

Now if it’ll just rain.

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