Drought Updates

Valley water supplies remain stable despite drought conditions in California.California drought monitor map

Since April, Governor Newsom has declared drought emergencies in more than 50 counties and has signed an executive order calling on Californians to voluntarily reduce water use by 15 percent. Riverside County is not under emergency orders at this time. 

Additionally, for the first time in history, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) announced a water shortage on the Colorado River resulting in mandatory water consumption cuts as stated in the Drought Contingency Plan (DCP).

The DCP is an action plan generated in 2019 to address ongoing historic drought conditions and reduce risk of Lakes Powell and Mead declining to critical elevations. USBR expects Lake Mead to hit the elevation threshold of the DCP of 1,090 feet in January 2022 triggering Tier 1 cuts that will affect Arizona, Nevada and Mexico.

Deeper reductions (Tier 2 and Tier 3) may be necessary if declines in Lake Mead continue. California does not take cuts in either Tiers 2 or 3 as agreed to in the 2007 Interim DCP Guidelines. However, the 2019 DCP includes additional contributions that California and CVWD have to make when Lake Mead gets to 1,045 feet and below.

Hoover Dam with Lake Mead elevation at 1088_14 feet above sea level_03_2018U.S. Bureau of Reclamation photo of water intakes at Lake Mead in 2018 

Ensuring sustainable supplies
CVWD has taken a leadership role in contingency planning with other western states in the case of ongoing severe drought.
Local water efficiency practices are always a priority for us regardless of state or nationwide water levels. CVWD also actively participates in several long-term water management planning efforts.

Some of the top issues addressed in long-term water management planning include:

  • Water demand projections
  • 5-year drought risk assessment
  • Seismic risk assessment
  • Water shortage contingency plans
  • Climate change assessments.

Woman adjusting irrigation  Opens in new window
How to increase water efficiency at home: 

  1. Reduce outdoor water use by eliminating water waste. The most common causes of water waste are over watering and leaks. Watch a video on How to Reduce Outdoor Water Waste
  2. Apply for a conservation rebate. See other side of this page for more details.
  3. Be a role model and convert your yard into a water-efficient landscape.
  4. Avoid watering during daylight hours, except when overseeding or for maintenance.
    Learn how to Overseed without wasting water.  
  5. Use CVWD’s watering guide. Or install a weather-based irrigation controller.
  6. Run your irrigation system while you are home and watch each cycle to find any problems such as leaks or broken sprinkler heads.

CVWD will continue to enforce water-use restrictions that went into law in 2017. 

Here is a list of restrictions:

  1. No irrigation during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
  2. Broken sprinklers must be repaired within 24 hours of notification.
  3. Eating establishments may only serve drinking water upon request. Order table tents for your restaurant.
  4. Hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily.
  5. Applying water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to adjacent property, roadways, parking lots, etc. is prohibited.
  6. Using a hose to wash an automobile, windows, solar panels, and tennis courts, except where the hose is equipped with a shut-off nozzle, is prohibited.
  7. Applying any water to any hard surface including, but not limited to, driveways, sidewalks, and asphalt is prohibited.
  8. Homeowners’ associations or community service organizations cannot block, stifle, or threaten homeowners from reducing or eliminating the watering of vegetation or lawns during a declared drought emergency.
  9. Irrigation with any water of ornamental turf on public street medians is prohibited.
  10. No use of potable water in a fountain or other decorative water feature, except where the water is part of a recirculating system. 

Additional Resources
Here are some key resources to help you save water:

Watch a video on How to read your water bill

Watch a video to Learn How to Check for Indoor Leaks

Watch a video on How to Read Your Water Meter 

If you’ve taken advantage of all these resources and still need help, give us a call at (760) 398-2651. We’re here to help you conserve.