Artesian Well Rebate Program

Artesian Conditions Returning to the Coachella Valley Groundwater Basin


Historically, the eastern Coachella Valley experienced artesian conditions in the confined aquifer with sufficient pressure to allow groundwater in wells to rise above the ground surface. Artesian flowing wells are considered an asset and part of why early settlers chose to farm in this area. Artesian flowing wells were common in the East Valley prior to the late 1930’s when groundwater pumping caused declining water levels. Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) worked with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to complete the construction of facilities in 1949 to import Colorado River water for use in the East Valley.  Artesian conditions in the East Valley returned in the early 1960s through the late 1980s when increased groundwater use again resulted in declining water levels and a loss of artesian conditions. 

Implementation of elements contained in the Indio Subbasin Water Management Plan and implementation of water conservation measures have restored water levels and artesian conditions to areas of the East Valley. In addition to reducing groundwater pumping costs and helping to protect the water quality in the aquifer used for municipal drinking water, these artesian conditions increase water pressures in the lower aquifer and can cause uncontrolled flows in wells that are poorly maintained, defective or not constructed properly. 

If you have an artesian flowing well on your property:
CVWD notifies well owners of their responsibility to control artesian wells in accordance with state regulations. Section 305 of the California Water Code requires artesian wells to be capped or equipped with a mechanical appliance which will readily and effectively arrest and prevent the flow of water.  In addition to capping or installing appropriate seals and controlling valves on the artesian well, CVWD recommends installing a pressure gage on the well head to measure piezometric pressure within the well casing.

Uncontrolled artesian flows can cause a public nuisance. California Public Health Code Section 2060(b) holds a property owner who controls the diversion, delivery, conveyance, or flow of water responsible for the abatement of a public nuisance that is caused by, or as a result of, that property or the diversion, delivery, conveyance, or control of that water.

Violations:
Failure to remedy violations of California Water Code or Public Health Code may result in the issuance of a notice of public nuisance, and such other action as permitted by law.  In addition, you may be subject to civil penalties up to $1,000 per day (California Health and Safety Code, Sec. 2060-2067).

Assistance:
CVWD staff is monitoring artesian conditions in the Coachella Valley and is available to visit your well and determine if artesian conditions exist.  CVWD staff can provide you a list of licensed well repair contractors that can evaluate your well and determine the best corrective action.   CVWD offers an Artesian Well Rebate Program to help defer some of the costs of controlling or destroying flowing artesian wells. Save documentation of repairs to artesian wells in the event you are eligible to receive monetary assistance. 

Links:
Artesian Well Rebate Program Application
Artesian Well Rebate Program Documentation of Work Completed
Artesian Well Rebate Key Program Elements
Artesian Well Rebate Worklist and Guidelines
Coachella Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District

Contact:
Alejandro Lara
CVWD Environmental Services Technician
Phone: (760) 398-2651, ext. 2233
ALara@CVWD.org