News Flash


Posted on: April 27, 2022

Engineer’s Report shows improved groundwater levels, suggests RAC increases

CVWD Palm Desert Groundwater Replenishment Facility

Groundwater levels increased in most of the CVWD service area since 2009, according to a report presented to the Board of Directors on April 26.

The 2022-2023 Engineer’s Report summarizes the condition of groundwater supplies, need for replenishment and replenishment assessment charges (RACs).

The West Whitewater River Subbasin showed elevation increases up to 100 feet. East Whitewater River Subbasin long-term changes reached the 80-foot level. The Mission Creek Subbasin records changes up to 20 feet.

“It all goes to show that our replenishment efforts are working,” said Board President John Powell Jr.

Large groundwater users that pump more than 25 acre-feet from the aquifer in a year pay RAC fees. The report recommends RAC increases in two of the three subbasins.

Rates in the West Whitewater River Subbasin would increase 19% from $167.79 per acre-foot to $196.79 per acre-foot. East Whitewater River Subbasin charges would increase 8.5 % from $72.27 per acre-foot to $78.41 per acre-foot.

The report suggests no rate increases for the Mission Creek Subbasin.

Rates are based on specific replenishment projects and programs provided in each area. Among payers are farms, nurseries, golf courses and public water system purveyors, including CVWD.

RAC revenue funds groundwater replenishment with imported water and other projects and programs to protect and conserve groundwater supplies and reduce groundwater pumping.  The board will conduct a public hearing on June 14 to consider RAC increases.

In other business, the board authorized staff to solicit bids for rehabilitating 4,425 feet of sewer pipelines in Palm Desert and Thousand Palms.  Estimated construction cost is $1,750,000 and includes rehabilitating manholes and pipes with cracks and deteriorated linings using trenchless technology. The multiyear project includes three sites:

  • Cahuilla Drive and Highway 74, 1,810 feet of 12-inch diameter ductile iron pipe.
  • Ramon Road and Colonial Drive, Tri-Palm Estates Country Club, 2,210 feet of 6-inch and 8-inch diameter vitrified clay pipe.
  • Jensen’s Shopping Center parking lot between Larkspur Lane and San Pablo Avenue, 405 feet of 10-inch diameter vitrified clay pipe.

The board also authorized a funding agreement with U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for the Mid-Canal Storage Project. The proposed 4.9-mile reservoir between mileposts 54.6 and 59.5 in the Coachella Canal will provide approximately 728 acre-feet of storage to buffer flow variations caused by changes in supply and demand.

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 110,000 residential and business customers across 1,000 square miles, located primarily in Riverside County, but also in portions of Imperial and San Diego counties.

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