The Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) has begun construction on a new groundwater replenishment facility in the City of Palm Desert that continues the district’s commitment to groundwater sustainability.
CVWD’s historical approach to the long-term health of the aquifer goes back to the district’s formation in 1918 when one of its first steps was to design facilities at Whitewater to capture run-off from the mountains. CVWD and Desert Water Agency have recognized the need for imported water to replenish the aquifer. To date, the water districts together have replenished more than 3.3 million acre-feet of imported water into the aquifer.
CVWD also operates the Thomas Levy Replenishment Facility in the east valley that continues to show increases in groundwater levels in the area.
“CVWD is proud of our long history of stewardship of our groundwater that stretches back to our formation 100 years ago,” said Jim Barrett, CVWD general manager. “The mid-valley replenishment facility is the next step in this ongoing commitment.”
The new Palm Desert facility in mid-valley is expected to add up to 25,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water annually into the aquifer.
The Palm Desert Groundwater Replenishment Facility will be built in two phases. The first phase will construct replenishment ponds, just south of CVWD’s Steve Robbins Administration Building. The second phase will construct replenishment ponds within the Whitewater River Stormwater Channel, between Cook Street and Fred Waring Drive.
The cost to evaluate, design and construct the new facility is estimated at $9.8 million. Most of the project funding is from the West Valley Replenishment Fund, which generates revenue primarily from the Replenishment Assessment Charge paid by public and private entities that use wells to pump groundwater.
Colorado River water is a source of drinking water for more than 30 million people. It is high quality and requires no treatment before it percolates into the aquifer through a natural filtration process.
The new facility is part of the ongoing commitment to protect the aquifer and maintain safe, reliable and affordable water supplies in the Coachella Valley.
Coachella Valley Water District is a public, non-profit agency serving domestic water, irrigation water, wastewater collection and reclamation services, regional stormwater protection and groundwater replenishment over a 1,000-square-mile area, including parts of Cathedral City to the Salton Sea communities. CVWD is a State Water Contractor and operates the 123-mile Coachella Canal to import Colorado River water to the region. An elected five-member board sets policy and represents the ratepayers. For more information, please visit www.cvwd.org.
Palm Desert Replenishment Project - PhotoPalm Desert Replenishment Project - Drone Video
Note to media: More photos and drone footage of the construction are available upon request.