News Flash


Posted on: April 7, 2017

CVWD supports governor’s lifting of drought emergency

Lake Oroville

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) supports actions taken Friday to lift the state’s drought emergency while shifting focus to long-term conservation efforts and improved planning for future droughts.

“CVWD has been among several water agencies lobbying the state to lift the emergency in light of the wet winter and heavy snow pack throughout the state,” said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett. “We have always been committed to promoting conservation and managing the water supplies in a long-term, sustainable manner.”

During the drought emergency months, CVWD customers reduced their water use by an average of 23% compared to the state’s base year of 2013. In March, CVWD customers used 24% less water than the same month in 2013. Water agencies will be required to continue to record and submit monthly conservation information to the State Water Resources Control Board.

“Our customers worked hard, many at great cost, to continue to reduce their water use even after the state conservation mandates were eliminated,” Barrett said. “They should be commended for that effort and for continuing to show a commitment to making conservation a way of life. I suspect we will never go back to the 2013 levels of water use as everyone has incorporated water-saving behavior into their daily lives.”

Because of the behavior changes, the state is looking to make water-use restrictions permanent. The following state and local restrictions remain in effect until further notice:

  • No irrigation during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall.
  • Broken sprinklers must be repaired within 24 hours of notification.
  • Eating establishments may only serve drinking water upon request.
  • Hotels and motels must provide guests with the option of choosing not to have towels and linens laundered daily.
  • Applying water to outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff to adjacent property, roadways, parking lots, etc. is prohibited.
  • 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.
  • Applying any water to any hard surface including, but not limited to, driveways, sidewalks, and asphalt is prohibited.
  • No using non-recirculated water in a fountain or other decorative water feature.
  • Irrigating ornamental turf on public street medians is prohibited.

In a related action, state agencies today released a plan called “Making water conservation a California way of life.” CVWD was among the water agencies to provide input on development of the plan, which requires legislation to establish long-term conservation measures and improved planning for future droughts.

CVWD is a strong supporter of the state planning for future droughts, including increased reservoir capacity and reliability of the State Water Project through the California WaterFix project.

Because the Coachella Valley is always in a drought, this type of planning isn’t new to CVWD. The Coachella Valley Water Management Plan, a blueprint for long-term sustainability, includes conservation goals and several programs and projects to ensure the water supplies for the valley’s future.

Among some of the successful planning efforts to help the valley’s water supply are:

  • Replenishing mountain runoff and snow melt into the aquifer for nearly 100 years.
  • Conservation goals established in 2002 and updated in 2010.
  • Importing more than 3.3 million acre-feet of water for groundwater replenishment.
  • Providing recycled water and Colorado River water to golf courses, farms and other large irrigation users in lieu of groundwater.

Among some of the successful conservation highlights:

  • Customers have converted more than 13 million square feet of grass to desert landscaping through our turf rebate program since 2009.
  • Customers have replaced more than 5,000 old toilets with more efficient models through our residential and commercial rebate program since 2012.
  • Staff visited more than 9,000 homes and businesses provide on-site technical assistance since the drought declaration in 2014.
  • Staff installed more than 4,000 free smart irrigation controllers since 2006 and approved rebates for more than 1,500 smart irrigation systems at homeowner associations.

 For a complete list of conservation programs, tips for reducing water use and existing water-use restrictions, 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 stormwater protection, groundwater management and water conservation. It serves approximately 109,000 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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