Nonpotable Water for Golf Course Irrigation

Golf Sprinkler Irrigation Recycled WaterCVWD began delivering recycled water in 1968 when it acquired the Palm Desert Country Club wastewater reclamation plant. Today, CVWD provides recycled and nonpotable (canal) irrigation water services to golf courses within its service area. We are committed to increasing the supply and use of nonpotable water to maintain a reliable source besides groundwater.

Nonpotable water reduces demand on the groundwater basin and provides a secondary water source for irrigation while saving potable water for domestic and drinking water uses.  


  • Wastewater Reclamation Plants that recycle water - 2
  • Total Daily Tertiary Capacity - 17.5 million gallons per day
  • Distribution Piping System - 31 miles


17.5 golf courses use a nonportable blend of recycled and Colorado River water.

36 golf courses use all Colorado River water from the Coachella Canal or the Mid-Valley Pipeline. 

54.5 golf courses out of 105 use a nonpotable water source within CVWD's service area. There are 120 golf courses in the Coachella Valley.

3.4 billion gallons of wastewater are recycled yearly at two wastewater treatment plants.

44,034 acre-feet of nonpotable water was used in 2022, making the same amount of groundwater available for drinking and other potable purposes.

165.42 acres of turf were removed by 26 golf courses from 2015-2018, resulting in water savings of more than 956 acre-feet per year.

40.5 additional golf courses plan to switch from groundwater to nonpotable water, bringing the total to 90% of golf courses within CVWD’s service area connected to nonpotable water.



CVWD constructed the Mid-Valley Pipeline (MVP) in 2009 to supplement the recycled water supply and to meet the irrigation demand of nonpotable water use customers instead of pumping groundwater. It delivers canal water to CVWD’s Wastewater Reclamation Plant in Palm Desert through a seven mile, 54-inch pipeline. 

In 2022, 24,533 acre-feet of nonpotable water (which includes 10,399 acre-feet of recycled water) were delivered to nonpotable water customers in the mid-valley area, making the same amount of groundwater available for drinking and more.


The 2022 Indio Sub-basin Water Management Plan (ISWMP) was adopted in December 2021.  The goal of the ISWMP is to reliably meet current and future water demands cost-effectively and sustainably. ISWMP objectives for golf courses: Conservation and utilization of nonpotable water sources for golf courses.  


Golf and Water Task Force was created in 2013.  This Task Force comprises CVWD Staff and Representatives in the Golf Industry.  The Task Force has members who regularly attend their bi-monthly meetings. 

The Task Force’s Mission Statement: To ensure a sustainable water supply for future generations, to meet if not exceed the goals of the Coachella Valley Water Management Plan, to pursue all feasible water conservation measures, to promote and expedite the use of nonpotable water, and to educate Valley residents regarding the importance of pursuing these goals for the environmental and economic quality of life in the Coachella Valley. 


Learn more by watching these videos