CVWD News

Posted on: August 21, 2015

CVWD launching agricultural conservation rebate program

Date palms

Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) soon will be issuing rebates to growers to convert the irrigation of their permanent crops such as date trees from furrow/flood to drip.

The new pilot program will help convert an estimated 667 acres of dates and other trees from flood to drip irrigation for an estimated savings of 2,000 acre-feet of water annually. It is being funded by a $1 million grant to help increase the amount of Colorado River water permanently stored in lakes Powell and Mead.

Growers interested in receiving rebates are encouraged to attend a workshop at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at the Rummonds Training Room at CVWD’s Coachella facilities, 51501 Tyler Street.

“In order to obtain meaningful agricultural water conservation we need to attract willing participants, and to do that we need to make the rebate program user friendly,” said CVWD General Manager Jim Barrett. “This is why grower input at this workshop is important. We may have as many questions for growers as they have for us.”

Rebates of $1,500 will be available for each acre that is converted from flood to drip irrigation. The $1,500 represents about 75% of the estimated cost per acre to growers to make the irrigation conversions. They will also benefit financially from reduced canal water use. To be eligible the farmland must be irrigated with Colorado River water, which is delivered via the 123-mile Coachella Canal.

The grant is being funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Central Arizona Water Conservation District, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Denver Water and Southern Nevada Water Authority.

For the first five years of the program, half of the conserved water will stay in Lake Mead, where a prolonged drought has dropped the lake’s elevation to historic lows, instead of being delivered to the Coachella Valley. The other half of the conserved water will be available for groundwater replenishment and irrigation within the eastern Coachella Valley.

After the amount of water that stays in the lake reaches 5,000 acre-feet, expected after five years, all additional water savings will be available within the eastern valley to reduce aquifer overdraft. Through 2045 an estimated 60,000 acre-feet of additional river water will be available for use in the Coachella Valley.

This program helps to meet the agricultural conservation goal adopted in the 2010 Coachella Valley Water Management Plan Update, which calls for a 14% reduction in water used by agriculture by the year 2020.

For additional information about the program and its workshop, contact CVWD Planning and Special Program Manager Patti Reyes at (760) 398-2651, ext. 2319 or preyes@cvwd.org.

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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