Posted on: February 23, 2016

CVWD Board adjusts drought budgets

Board Room

The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors today approved a change in drought budgets for domestic water customers in response to a state adjustment to the CVWD water conservation target.

CVWD customers now will need to limit their outdoor water use to 32% below their regular outdoor water budget. Previously CVWD customers needed to limit their outdoor water use to 36% below their outdoor water budget.

The move follows an adjustment earlier this month by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB).  As it approved an extension of revised emergency regulations for urban water conservation, the state board applied a climate adjustment that moved CVWD's mandatory conservation target from 36% to 32%, beginning March 1. The state considers CVWD's cumulative domestic water use as compared to the same month in 2013 to computer this percentage.

Although the state compares the district's overall water use to the same month in 2013, CVWD decided it would be unfair to ask customers to adhere to this approach. Instead, CVWD customers must cut back enough to meet their temporary drought budget, an approach that rewards those who have already cut their outdoor water use by allowing grass to go golden or by replacing grass with desert-friendly landscaping.

"The 4% change to CVWD's conservation mandate, based on a climate for regions that are the hottest in the state, represents a more equitable and achievable mandate that we are committed to achieve," said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett.  "By adjusting our drought budgets for our customers, we are confident that more customers will be able to meet the mandate. We ask customers to keep up the good work and to consider letting grass go golden if they haven't already."

CVWD's rolling average conservation number through January, which is what the state uses to judge performance, is 25.5%. This is in line with the statewide average. CVWD continues to work with the state in support of future adjustments that reflect the unique characteristics of the Coachella Valley.

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.

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