Coachella Valley Water District offers tours to the public and to private groups as part of our ongoing effort to educate the community on the water-related services and needs of the Coachella Valley. Tours offer an opportunity for customers to see the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of the services that we provide, while allowing the District the opportunity to share important information about infrastructure, sustainability, water quality and more. In 2018, CVWD revised its tour offerings and has created exciting new public tours. Please be sure to read our tour guidelines carefully before signing up for a tour.
Canal, Agriculture & Replenishment Tour
Travel with us on this half-day tour to learn how water is monitored and accounted for from CVWD’s Control Room using microwave communication devices and state-of-the-art technology. You will also visit a local farm area where micro-irrigation is used, saving more than 30 percent of water over traditional methods. This tour also includes a stop at a replenishment facility where Colorado River water percolates into the groundwater basin replacing some of what valley consumers have used.
Wastewater Treatment, Mid-Valley Pipeline & Groundwater Sustainability Tour
This half-day tour will take you through CVWD’s wastewater treatment plant in Palm Desert where approximately 10 million gallons of wastewater is processed daily. You will learn how CVWD recycles this water through a multi-step treatment process for outdoor irrigation on golf courses and other landscapes. You will also visit the Mid-Valley Pump Station where water is pumped out of the Coachella Canal to the treatment plant where it is blended with recycled wastewater to supplement golf course irrigation needs. A visit to the Desert Willow Golf Resort is also included along with a discussion on how they exclusively use recycled water for irrigation.
Domestic & Stormwater Tour
Travel with us on this half-day tour to visit a well site where CVWD pumps water from the aquifer and delivers it to customers through a complex distribution system. You will also learn how CVWD collects and tests more than 22,000 water samples annually to ensure safe, high-quality drinking water. A stop at a reservoir will show how water is stored for reliable delivery to homes and businesses 24/7. This tour will also take you through a small portion of CVWD’s stormwater protection and flood control facilities. CVWD protects 590 square miles from flooding.
Imperial Dam Tour
CVWD’s Imperial Dam tour is a full-day (10-12 hours) excursion that leaves the Coachella Valley and travels along the Coachella Canal to the Mexican border and back. The tour is an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how the Colorado River impacts the Coachella Valley. This tour has an admission price of $40 and sells out quickly.
Are you interested in a special half-day tour for your HOA, club or organization? Each fall and spring CVWD offers a limited number of customized tours based on budget, staff and facility availability. Private bus tours have a maximum of 25 participants per bus, and you must have a minimum of 10 participants for a tour. Tour participants get a first-hand look at a municipal well site, a water storage reservoir, Lake Cahuilla (which is the terminus of the Coachella Canal), a groundwater replenishment facility, and a wastewater reclamation plant (which produces recycled water for use on golf courses). Groups that have not scheduled a private tour within the last three years will be given priority.
Apply for a Private Tour.
Private bus tours have a maximum of 25 participants per bus, and you must have a minimum of 10 people for a tour. Your group is responsible for covering the cost of the 27-passenger mini-coach, which is the maximum bus size permitted. We provide the tour guide, water, and all appropriate materials. Sign-in starts at 7 a.m. and the day ends with a wrap-up Q&A on the bus, with the tour ending around noon.
Your group may also apply for a full-day Imperial Dam tour. CVWD will provide a tour guide, water and materials, but you are responsible for your own food and transportation.
Private tours are appropriate for ages 14 and up. Each minor child must be accompanied by an adult.
Private tours can be scheduled from October 15 – December 7 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays in the fall. The fall tour application deadline is September 15. Private tours can be scheduled from February 1 – April 30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays in the Spring. The spring application deadline is January 5. Please be sure to read our tour guidelines carefully before signing up for a tour. Submit your group’s application now!
The following guidelines must be adhered to if you want to participate in a CVWD tour:
- Before signing up for a tour, be sure you are comfortable with riding in a vehicle for up to 12 hours (depending on the tour).
- You must wear closed toe shoes on these tours, and you will not be able to join us if you are wearing sandals, flip-flops, or other open-toe shoes. You will not be allowed on the bus if you are not wearing proper shoes.
- Tours require a moderate level of exertion including walking on unpaved and uneven terrain, ascending and descending stairs, including boarding and exiting a bus with an 18-inch step, and standing/walking outdoors during times of extreme heat.
- Access to restroom facilities will be limited at some sites, so please plan accordingly.
- Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a snack. You can bring a hat; however, hats and water bottles are provided as a courtesy by CVWD.
If you have a disability and require accommodation/modification to participate in this tour, please contact us at least 72 hours before the tour. Requests after that time will be considered to the maximum extent feasible.
Accident Waiver and Release of Liability Form
All tour participants (on both public and private tours) will be required to agree to CVWD’s Accident Waiver and Release of Liability Form during the registration process and will also be required to sign the waiver and release form on site, prior to boarding the tour bus.
How to sign up for tours
To receive email alerts about future tours or to access your subscriber preferences, please sign up to Stay Connected.
- Subscribers will receive an email notification when tours become available. The email will include the tour and registration date along with trip details.
- Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Participants must register online on the designated registration date.