CVWD News

Posted on: August 10, 2015

CVWD customers reduce water use 41% in July

Adjusting irrigation clock

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) customers used 41% less water in July 2015 when compared to the same month in 2013.

“This number represents a dramatic increase in conservation efforts by our customers and affirms our belief that Coachella Valley residents want to make a difference during the ongoing state drought,” said Heather Engel, director of Communication & Conservation for the district. “Part of this success is due to enthusiastic customer participation in our turf rebate and smart controller programs as well as our indoor water use conservation programs. We thank our customers for the changes they have made in water use to achieve our goal.”

The state is requiring CVWD to reduce overall residential water use by 36% each month when compared to the same month in 2013 or face penalties of up to $10,000 per day.

CVWD has asked customers to limit water use to 36% below their monthly outdoor water budget. This new, temporary drought budget rewards customers who have already taken steps to significantly reduce water use, such as replacing grass with desert landscaping, because they will likely already be below this threshold.

CVWD customers who fail to limit outdoor water use to 36% below their monthly budget are subject to drought penalties. These penalties went into effect with July bills.

The CVWD board also adopted the state’s mandatory water-use restrictions, plus additional restrictions and recommendations for increased conservation. Customers who violate water-use restrictions can be liable for fines on their bill starting at $50 and up to $200. A “water school” is being developed to help educate violators how to reduce water use. Attending the school will be optional in lieu of paying the first fine, but will also be open to non-violators wanting to learn more about conservation.

CVWD has maintained an aggressive public outreach campaign to promote conservation through a variety of means including print, radio and television advertising; media interviews; direct mail pieces, door hangers, fact sheets and flyers; speaking engagements and attendance at community events; newsletter columns in partner publications; billboards and social media. Some of this outreach was conducted in Spanish.

In addition, several conservation programs are available. One of the most popular has been the turf rebate program, in which district customers replaced 2.9 million square feet of grass in the 2014-15 fiscal year and almost 6 million square feet since the program started.

CVWD customers had previously used 21 percent less water in June 2015 than the same month in 2013. Customers will need to stay 36% below the outdoor water budget each month to avoid penalties.

“We applaud our customers’ efforts and ask them to keep up the good work,” Engel said.

The CVWD board of directors will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in a regular board meeting that will include an update on conservation programs. The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Steve Robbins Administration Building, 75515 Hovley Lane East in Palm Desert.

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. For more information, please visit www.cvwd.org.

News Release Contacts
Heather Engel, hengel@cvwd.org, Ext. 2353
Diane Carmony, dcarmony@cvwd.org, Ext. 2315

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