Posted on: November 30, 2015

New irrigation restriction, increased drought penalties go into effect Dec. 1

Adjusting irrigation clock

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) wants to remind domestic water customers that starting tomorrow, Dec. 1, and through March 31, 2016, outdoor irrigation is prohibited on Mondays and Thursdays.

CVWD adopted the new irrigation restriction after the State Water Resources Control Board issued the district a $61,000 fine because customers did not reduce water use enough to meet the State's 36% conservation mandate. In addition, drought penalties were increased for those in the top three tiers.

"Our customers have done a great job by reducing water use by a monthly average of 27% compared to 2013 and have saved approximately 5 billion gallons of water from June 1 to Oct. 31. Obviously, a majority of the residents and business owners are doing their part to conserve during this historic drought or we wouldn't be seeing this kind of success," said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett. "However, the state doesn't think that's enough."

The state is requiring CVWD customers to reduce overall domestic water use by 36% when compared to the same month in 2013. To accomplish this, CVWD is asking everyone to limit water use to 36% below their normal outdoor monthly budget or pay drought penalties.

Drought penalties went into effect June 1, 2015. On average, 75% of customers are avoiding penalties by meeting this new drought budget each month. Increased drought penalty rates go into effect tomorrow, Dec. 1 for January bills:

Water use in Tier 1:
Water use in Tier 2, up to 64% 
Water use in Tier 2, above 64%
Water use in Tier 3
Water use in Tier 4
Water use in Tier 5:
No Penalty
No Penalty
Regular rate + $2.51/unit
Regular rate + $5/unit (up from $3.34)
Regular rate + $10/unit (up from $5.01)
Regular rate + $20/unit  (up from $10.03)

Statewide mandatory water-use restrictions remain in effect, including prohibiting water runoff and irrigation during and 48 hours following rain. In addition, CVWD requires sprinklers to be fixed within 24 hours and leaks to be fixed as soon as possible.

Report water waste online at All reports are investigated and, if confirmed, the responsible party is contacted. More than 650 reports have been investigated in the past six months with a majority of the violations being fixed in a timely manner. However, be advised that fines have been issued and staff is stepping up efforts to confirm that problems remain fixed.

CVWD has posted an instructional video on its website at for anyone needing help programming a sprinkler controller to stop watering on Mondays and Thursdays.

For more information about how drought penalties work, a complete list of water-use restrictions, information about conservation rebate programs, tips and more, visit

The Coachella Valley Water District is a public agency governed by a five-member board of directors. The district provides domestic and irrigation water, agricultural drainage, wastewater treatment and reclamation services, regional storm water protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 108,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in CVWD News


CVWD changes sewer rate structure

Posted on: June 27, 2017
Whitewater channel repair

CVWD sewer spill update

Posted on: June 6, 2017

Traffic advisory

Posted on: May 24, 2017
FLoodin water in storm channel

Flood Advisory

Posted on: December 22, 2016
Water flowing in the Storm Channel

Flood Advisory

Posted on: December 15, 2016
Outstanding Commercial Water Saver

CVWD recognizes community water savers

Posted on: November 8, 2016
Yellow Triangle with Exclamation Alert Web

CVWD warns customers of possible scam

Posted on: October 14, 2016
CVWD Board Room

CVWD approves new fixed rates

Posted on: October 5, 2016
Transparency Certificate of Excellence

CVWD awarded transparency certificate

Posted on: September 13, 2016
Board meeting room

CVWD board opposes Proposition 53

Posted on: September 8, 2016
Desert Landscape

CVWD encourages ongoing conservation

Posted on: June 23, 2016
Board Room

CVWD Board adjusts drought budgets

Posted on: February 23, 2016
Flood Advisory

Flood Advisory

Posted on: January 5, 2016

Traffic Advisory

Posted on: November 23, 2015