Posted on: May 9, 2017

CVWD recognizes community water savers

Desert_Landscape photo

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) Board of Directors today honored a Cathedral City couple and a Palm Desert HOA with conservation awards.

CVWD’s conservation contests are aimed at recognizing and celebrating extraordinary water savers in the community. The contests are divided into two categories. One recognizes homeowners who have transformed their yards into water-friendly landscapes. The second contest honors commercial properties that have implemented effective water conservation practices.

Both winners received rebates through CVWD’s turf buyback program.

The most recent winners are:

Most Beautiful Yard – Gilbert and Vera Sanchez


The Sanchezes replaced 1,800 square feet of grass with rock and water-efficient plants in the front yard and enclosed patio of their 29-year-old Cathedral City home. They say they are totally satisfied with the results of the project that took 9 days to complete.

“I wish we had done it a few years ago,” said Gilbert Sanchez. “It’s less work and it’s a big relief that I don’t have to mow a lawn anymore. Plus, our water bill has dropped from between $40 and $50 to about $20.”

Their landscape, which features a rock river, flowering succulents, palms, weed barrier and new drip system and smart controller, was designed by Vera Sanchez and has served as an inspiration to other neighbors to change their landscape, she said.

“We wanted to do our part to conserve water in the Coachella Valley, our home,” she said

Outstanding Commercial Water Saver  – Indian Ridge Country Club HOA


Addressing the state and CVWD’s water mandates the country club HOA Board of Directors launched a Water Use Reduction Landscape Plan in 2016 that has removed 6.5 acres of turf from 467 homes and common areas.

The HOA replaced the entire irrigation system from the controllers to the underground irrigation lines, to the emitters in all of the common areas of the association. Nearly all plant material was replaced with desert-friendly plants and rocks arranged in varying elevations. Small areas of artificial turf augment the new landscape in common areas.

While grass was removed from the front of all the homes, the HOA was able to keep the grass inside courtyards and backyards, said Joe Rice, community services and facilities manager.

So far, the HOA’s water bill has been cut 40%, he said.

“These projects are excellent examples of the significant water savings that can be achieved by making changes to outdoor landscaping,” said Katie Evans, CVWD conservation manager. “These changes show that our community is embracing long-term water conservation as the new California lifestyle.”

RGA Landscape Architects Inc. designed the project.

For more information about CVWD’s conservation contests, 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 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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